Making an impact on Israeli society through innovative programs and research centers.

BGU’s Pinchas Sapir Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences has a vision for the future that goes beyond the walls of academia, deeply connecting the University to the community.

Here is a sample of the latest initiatives that have the potential to transform Israeli society:

Higher Education for Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Community

According to various studies, the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel will double in size in the next two generations, making this group one-fifth of Israel’s population.

To accommodate the need for education and employment for the Negev’s ultra-Orthodox population, Ben-Gurion University is opening a number of academic programs geared specifically toward this community, as well as the ultra-Orthodox community throughout Israel.

Ultra-Orthodox students will be able to receive a B.A. in the arts, communications, conflict management and resolution, geography, political science, psychology, and social work.

M.A. programs include social work, conflict management and resolution, political science, communications, geography, health systems and administration, public administration, gerontology, and social leadership.

BGU plans to create a dedicated space in one of the buildings on its David Tuviyahu Campus (Beit Hais) for ultra-Orthodox degree programs.

Upon completing their studies at BGU, the students will be able to better integrate into the workforce, provide for their families and contribute to Israel society.

Judaism as Culture: Honors Program in Jewish Studies

BGU’s Judaism as Culture Honors Program is designed to attract the best and brightest students who are interested in Jewish studies.

This interdisciplinary program is a joint project of six departments and programs:

  • Archaeology and Biblical Studies
  • Jewish Thought
  • Jewish History
  • Folklore (Jewish and Comparative)
  • Hebrew Literature
  • Hebrew Language

Judaism as Culture participants will receive a broad education in Judaism, Jewish studies, cultural studies, and more.

Graduates will contribute to innovative Jewish culture and history research, and be equipped to engage in teaching Jewish studies in Israeli high schools and other educational programs.

Arabic in the Bedouin Dialect for Medical Staff

Some 250,000 Bedouin receive medical treatment at Soroka University Medical Center in Beer-Sheva. Many of them, particularly the women, speak only Arabic.

Most of the medical staff at Soroka (doctors, nurses, laboratory workers, speech therapists, and administrators) are native Hebrew speakers who cannot effectively communicate with Bedouin patients.

BGU’s Department of Middle Eastern Studies will offer an Arabic course using the Bedouin dialect for Soroka’s medical staff. Speech workshops will focus on the medical terminology needed for daily work and communication. Bedouin students will work with the medical staff to enhance the learning process.

The Negev Center for Sustainability

The Negev Center for Sustainability focuses on interactions between the social, cultural, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability in the Negev region and beyond.

Established by BGU’s Department of Geography and Environmental Development, this interdisciplinary research center brings together researchers with different expertise and backgrounds, including social sciences, natural sciences, geographical technologies, and other fields.

The Center contributes to the well-being of present and future generations by conducting applied research on different aspects of sustainability. Examples of research projects include:

  • Israel 2048: The First 100 Years. A wide framework, this study integrates research, community engagement and planning with the aim of envisioning and exploring directions for the future of the State of Israel.
  • Suburban Sustainability Assessment for Israeli Cities. Examining the potential benefits of existing and emerging policy and planning measures in different Israeli cities.
  • Cities of Tomorrow. Exploring how integrating various existing and emerging measures – technology, behavioral change, economics, social and cultural perceptions, policy and planning – can advance urban sustainability.

Support these initiatives with your donation to BGU social sciences and humanities research >>