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The Ashkenazium Jewish Studies MA curriculum includes courses from four areas of study: History (AH), Rabbinics (AR), Intellectualism (AI), Literature (AL). Each year, new courses are offered. Older courses are available online. The workload (60 credits) over the 1-year MA program is distributed as follows:

  • 9 courses (45 credits)
  • 1 external elective (5 credits)
  • master’s essay (10 credits)

Thanks to the fact that the entire curriculcum is structured according to seminars, each of which typically runs over a 9-day period, an incoming student may join the program at any point and take the courses in the order that they are offered from that point onward. It is likewise left to the student’s personal discretion to skip any given seminar course if she or he wishes, or to refrain from writing the essay for the course. This is can be done without any penalization; the student will simply not receive credits for that course. In short, as soon as the student has accumulated 60 credits, at whatever pace, she or he will be awarded the MA degree.


The lectures and seminars at the Ashkenazium all operate on the model of a think tank. Each course runs as an intensive seminar of about 9 days in duration with one teacher so as to facilitate an intimate meeting of minds and an opportunity to delve deeply into a subject matter.


In addition to the seminars, the Ashkenazium will organize at least 4 symposia per year in which three academics will present papers and engaged in round-table discussions during a week. Each symposium may be attended for credit as a course (5 credits). As with the classes, assignments relating to the given symposium will have to be completed in order to earn the requisite credits.


Each seminar course, and likewise each symposium, will involve 23 in-class hours, and 5 additional hours online. Typically, the class hour-breakdown will be as follows: Monday to Thursday 10:00-12:00 & 13:00-15:00. Friday 9:00-12:00.

Instructors have the prerogative to alter the schedule to better suit themselves and the students.

In order to pass any give course, students are expected to attend a minimum of 18 in-class hours.


While up to 9 courses of the curriculum may be completed through on-line learning, each student is require to attend at least 1 seminar or symposium in person in Budapest. There is also a strong recommendation that the master’s essay be defended in the Budapest campus in person. But exceptional situations will be accomodated.


In order to graduate, students must have or must acquire a basic level proficiency in Hebrew. A Hebrew test will be administered once a year. Those students who are already proficient in Hebrew need only take and pass this test. Incoming students who lack basic Hebrew proficiency will have to opportunity to study Hebrew at the Ashkenazium, and upon passing the test may count their Hebrew classes as their external elective.


Unless otherwise stated, the student is required to read all the assigned course material before a given seminar begins. The grade for each course will be based entirely on one essay. Students will have the option of submitting a second draught of the essay, after receiving the instructor’s feedback on the first draught, in which case the higher grade assigned to the essay will be final. At the instructor’s discretion, students may also be required to discuss their essays as part of their grade.

AH11 The Origins of Ashkenaz
AH13 Paul, Jesus & Judaism
AH36 The Piaseczno Rebbe’s Warsaw Sermons
AH41 Jewish Self-Hatred
AH44 Hungarian Jewry from Emancipation to Holocaust
AH38 The French Revolution, Napoleon and the Jews (TBA)
AH45 Auschwitz as Apocalypse (TBA)
AH09 1000 Years of Ashkenaz : Jewish East Central Europe (archived 2022)
AH48 Zionism in Light of Its European Origins (archived 2021)
AR12 Rashi and his School
AR20 The Maharal’s “Gevurot Hashem”
AR21 Major Trends in Ashkenazi Kabbalah (2024)
AR27 R. Ḥayim Volozhiner’s “Nefesh HaḤayim” (TBA)
AR45 ‘Make Yourself a Teacher’ : Jewish Pedagogy (TBA)
AR07 Ashkenazi Parshanut from Medieval to Modern Times (archived 2022)
AR30 Ḥasidic Commentary on the Torah (archived 2022)
AR31 The Tzemaḥ Tzedek’s “Derekh Mitzvotekha” (archived 2021)
AI09 Moses Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed
AI13 Moses, Luther & Erasmus
AI25 Franz Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption
AI28 Emmanuel Lévinas’ Totality and Infinity
AI30 Sigmund Freud’s Moses and Monotheism
AI33 Hebraic Teaching & Heideggerian Thinking
AI38 Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem
AI39 Anarcho-Judaism: its History, Philosophy, & Theology
AI11 Ashkenazi Intellectualism I : Ideas of Judaism (TBA)
AI12 Ashkenazi Intellectualism II : Judaism of Ideas (TBA)
AI37 Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism (TBA)
AI19 Hermann Cohen’s Religion of Reason (archived 2021)
AI21 Martin Buber’s I and Thou (archived 2022)
AL19 Shakespeare’s Shylock
AL21 Tradition and Modernity in Yiddish Literature
AL11 Yiddish Classics (2023)
AL24 The Schlemiel in European Literature and Culture (archived 2022)
AL33 Franz Kafka and Bruno Schulz : Tradition and Modernity (archived 2022)
AL39 “Schibboleth” : Derrida’s Reading of Celan (archived 2021)