IFSA Butler Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rothberg International School

  • Location: Jerusalem, Israel
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Class Eligibility: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors.


Jerusalem has captured the imagination of the world for centuries. Ancient history is evident at every turn, yet this diverse city also boasts modern cultural diversity and student friendly entertainment. The area has plenty of cultural and entertainment options including art galleries, museums, theaters, and restaurants. One of the most sacred, historic cities in the world, Jerusalem is the perfect place to spend an exciting and enlightening semester or year. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel’s Nirst university and a symbol of the cultural rebirth of the Jewish nation in its ancestral homeland.

  • Visa:


  • Fees: Students pay Haverford tuition and room to Haverford College. Haverford will then be responsible for submitting payments to the program. Tuition covers health insurance as well as the mandatory Ulpan courses.

  • Requirements

    No previous Hebrew language study is required. Students must be in good health. Students should be aware that the Government of Israel reserves the right to refuse entry to someone suspected of being HIV positive.

    Students must enroll in an appropriate-level Hebrew language course which begins before the semester starts. Students may substitute Arabic for Hebrew. Both Hebrew and Arabic fulfill Haverford’s language requirement. The application requirements can be found on the IFSA-Butler website.

    Academic Credit

    The minimum study load is 16-18 class hours per week for a total of 15 credits per semester. In each semester, students must enroll in at least one course in Jewish or Israel studies and at least 4-8 class hours per week of Hebrew. Ulpan, the intensive Hebrew language course, is required. Students who opt for the Arabic Immersion program take Arabic instead of Hebrew. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above.


    Special programs include:

    • Arabic immersion – total immersion in modern standard Arabic. Fulfills Haverford’s language requirement
    • Spring in Jerusalem Honors Program – for juniors and seniors with at least a 3.5 GPA.
    • Art Jerusalem – Artistic training combined with university study
    • Dance JerusalemStudents train in the area of classical ballet, contemporary dance (including Ohad Naharin’s Gaga) choreography, repertoire and improvisation.  
    • Jerusalem SoundsA comprehensive music program that includes individual instruction, workshops, performance in small and large ensembles, and classes in Jewish and Israeli music. 
    • Judaism and Christianity in Late Antiquity - Designed to provide insight into the origins and early development of Christianity in the Holy Land and the relations between Judaism and Christianity during this formative period.
    • Middle Eastern Politics and Society - Draws from the renowned faculty of the Hebrew University in the areas of history, religious studies, sociology, political science, international relations, Middle East studies and Arabic language.
    Course Highlights

    Ancient Near East, Archeology, Biblical Studies, Bioengineering, Business, Colloquial Arabic Language, Economics, Geography, History of Jewish People, Islamic Studies, Israeli Geography and Environment, Israel Studies, Jewish Art, Jewish Education, Jewish Folklore, Jewish Music, Jewish Literature, Jewish Thought, Law, Literary Arabic Language, Middle Eastern Studies, Natural Science, Peace and ConNlict Study, Politics, Psychology, Society, Sociology, Talmudic Literature, and Yiddish.

    Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

    Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad

  • Non-Academic Overview

    Orientation: Mandatory language orientation. Hebrew/Arabic Ulpan

    Number of Students: Approximately 24,000 students attend Hebrew University of whom 800 attend the Rothberg International School. Approximately 65 students attend the IFSA Butler program each fall and approximately 80 students attend the program each spring.

    Housing/Meal Plans

    Housing is guaranteed and includes the Ulpan session. There is no meal plan. Students live in Scopus Student Village located on Mount Scopus and a short walking distance from the campus. Housing consists of suites with single bedrooms and shared living room, kitchen and bathroom facilities. All suites are air conditioned and include laundry facilities. Students who observe Jewish Sabbath or keep Kosher may request housing with other observant residents.

    Haverford students may not opt for housing not arranged by the program. 

    Opportunities / Cultural Events

    Sports: Baseball, dance, kung fu, soccer, squash, swimming, tai chi, tennis, tai kwon-do, track & field, volleyball.


Students who are applying to study in Israel must have both parents sign the Parent Waiver on the Travel Resources website.  We also strongly suggest that parents of students studying abroad, especially in Israel, also have valid passports.

Exams for the first semester take place in mid-January. Exam dates cannot be changed, and students will not know exactly when their exams take place until they arrive. It is possible for the first semester exams at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to overlap with the first week of the second semester at Haverford College. Please keep this in mind when you apply. You may not apply for the fall semester only if this is the case. 

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • Semester/Year
  • Fulfills Language Requirement
  • Semester I: Early August to late December
  • Semester II: Mid-January to early June
  • Year: Early August to early June
Application Deadlines
  • Semester I: March 5
  • Semester II: October 1
  • Year: March 5
Faculty Contact

Richard Freedman

Barak Mendelsohn

Naomi Koltun-Fromm