Jewish Art (Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. Jewish Art History Program offers specialization in the following areas:

Jewish Art of the Middle Ages, illuminated Hebrew manuscripts, art of the synagogue and its ritual elements, artistic and architectural aspects of interfaith dialogue, modern Jewish and Israeli art, art of the printed Hebrew book, symbols in Jewish art, art of Jewish communities, national identity as expressed in Jewish and Israeli art, artistic motifs and their metamorphoses, developments in Jewish and Israeli art, and more.

Areas of specialization

Areas of specialization in the department allow for the study of Jewish and Israeli visual arts and culture from a variety of diverse perspectives. We encourage historical, phenomenological, iconographic, structuralist, postmodernist research, and others.

In the study of artwork, doctoral students are encouraged to explore issues of: identity; gender; Holocaust, trauma, posttrauma and disabilities; propaganda and politics; ritual, kabbalah, mysticism and spiritualism; and more.

The department provides academic guidance to students seeking to explore different genres of Jewish art, from ancient times to today, in Israel and the Diaspora: manuscripts and books, drawing and sculpture, architecture, practical arts, Judaica, jewelry, video installations, etc.

The department encourages interdisciplinary research, emphasizing art as a reflection of historical, social, national and psychological processes.

Publications of the department faculty may be viewed at:


Admission criteria

  1. A minimum master’s degree grade point average of 85 from a recognized institution in Israel or abroad.
  2. Master’s degree thesis as part of master’s degree studies – minimum of 85.
  3. Students who completed a master’s degree at a recognized institution in Israel or abroad in a non-thesis track must complete a thesis-equivalent work.
  4. Students whose master’s degree is not in Jewish studies or humanities must make up courses in the department per their background and dissertation topic.

Degree requirements

  1. Submission of research proposal within one year of admission to the doctoral program.
  2. 6 AC (12 SC) (three year-long courses) with a passing grade for participation. Course/seminar selection in collaboration with advisor.
  1. Two years of participation in departmental seminar is mandatory.
  2. PhD candidates who do not submit their dissertation by the end of the fourth year are required to participate in the departmental seminar from the fifth year onward until they submit their dissertation.
  3. Bar-Ilan University requirements for PhD students are required as well: basic Jewish studies, English, foreign language.
  4. Submission of doctoral dissertation within four years of admission to the doctoral program.

The School of Graduate Studies Committee does not guarantee admission to all applicants even if they meet minimum requirements and have been recommended for admission by the department.

The track encourages interdisciplinary research emphasizing art in its historical, social, religious, psychological and other contexts.