About us

The Mandel Scholion Center was founded in 2002, on the initiative of the former president of the Hebrew University, Prof. Menachem Magidor, and with the generous support of the Mandel Foundation. Its original aim was to encourage interdisciplinary research paths that will place Jewish studies at the heart of cultural discourse in Israel and abroad and also secure the Hebrew University’s position as the leading institution in the field; with the beginning of its second decade its mandate was expanded to the full gamut of the humanities. Having now settled into our new home, the second floor of the Mandel Building, we look forward to creating, together with our partners in the Mandel School, a new kind of academic community in the humanities—one that is multi-aged, interdisciplinary, lively and vibrant, and which fosters productive and friendly discourse.

The center supports two main projects:  

Three concurrent research groups, each dealing with a particular topic in  the fields of Humanities and Jewish Studies. A new research group is selected  once a year for a three-year term at the center, and comprises four senior  members from the Hebrew University faculty, as well as four doctoral students . Scholars from outside the Hebrew University are also invited to participate. The  group as a whole explores its topic, making the most of the diverse  methodologies and perspectives that each member brings from his/her discipline . Each group is entitled to a generous budget, scholarships for the students and  partial exemption from study duties for the senior members. The Mandel Scholars  program offers two post-doctoral positions per annum to young, outstanding  Ph.D.s in the Humanities and Jewish Studies. The positions are offered to  researchers from Israel and abroad who have recently received their doctorates  after having conducted distinctive and extraordinary research. The Mandel  scholars are then afforded a three-year term in the Hebrew University for  research and teaching at the various departments, along with a research budget .

 

Mandel Scholarships

 

The Mandel Scholarship Program offers two or three postgraduate research fellowships each year in the fields of humanities and Jewish Studies. The fellowship is open to Israeli and international scholars who have completed their PhDs. We select scholars who have demonstrated exceptional research abilities and whose research contains the potential to promote novel academic and cultural discourse from among the many applicants from Israel and abroad.

The call for applications is published every year in early June. The files of all the applicants are sent for external evaluation, after which the Mendel Scholion Center Academic Committee that consists of renowned researchers from the Hebrew University and other institutions in Israel and around the world convenes. A small number of candidates  are carefully selected for interviews with the academic committee members, after which the fellowship is offered to those the committee sees as most promising.

The scholars selected at the end of this process are invited to work at the Mandel Scholion Center for a period of up to three years. During their stay at the center, they enjoy ideal conditions in which to progress with their research. They also teach one course each term they are in trresidence (2 hours per week). In addition, they receive a generous research stipend fund with which they can cover research expenses and organize research activities.

 

Mandel Scholion Mission

 

The Mandel Scholion Center aspires to facilitate, and encourage, research at the highest level in all branches of the humanities. It provides scholars with a supportive multidisciplinary framework that both allows them to broaden their horizons and learn from conversations and encounters with colleagues in other fields. Each fellow receives an office, budgetary support and other optimal conditions for their work.

The Center was opened in 2002/3 as the joint project of the Hebrew University and the Mandel Foundation, embodying the visionary plan of Prof. Menahem Magidor (then president of the University) and Mr. Morton Mandel to open a multi-disciplinary and cross-generational center for scholars of the humanities. During the Center’s first decade, under the academic leadership of Prof. Israel J. Yuval, the basic modes and structures of the Center were formed and developed, and the model was further refined under the direction of Prof. Daniel Schwartz, the Center’s second head. Each year the Center’s academic committee chooses, in competitive processes, ten scholars: two postdocs (“Mandel Fellows”) and one eight-member research group (composed of four senior scholars [at least three from the Hebrew University] and four doctoral students). All scholars come for a three-year period, ten rotating in and out each year, so at any given time there are thirty scholars in the center: twelve doctoral students, six postdocs, and twelve senior scholars—a mixture that allows diverse topics and cross-fertilization.

The generous and stable support of the Mandel Foundation allows Mandel Scholion to supply its fellows with an extraordinary level of support. They are accompanied by the Center’s devoted and experienced staff, research assistants and technical and financial support. The faculty in residence at Mandel Scholion enjoys a reduced teaching load during their three years as fellows.

Mandel Scholion strives to allow each member the peace and quiet they need to complete their projects but at the same time to create conducive models for collaborative scholarship. The members of the Center whose research spans the Humanities and Social Sciences have regular meetings and seek ways to bridge disciplinary borders, enhancing both group and individual research.  To judge by the unwillingness of fellows to leave after three years, and by the number of past fellows who compete for the possibility of returning for another three years, it seems that this model works well.

As for the postdocs, who as a rule are not members of research groups: for them Mandel Scholion is something of a greenhouse, allowing them the time and the other conditions they need to complete their publications, gain experience in teaching, and compete for tenure track positions. The results, to date, are very gratifying: more than thirty past Fellows have been appointed to regular tenure-track positions in Israel and abroad.  

The Mandel Scholion Center occupies the second floor of the Mandel Building on Mt. Scopus, and we invite members of the public and of the University community to visit us and learn more about us. Some of our activities are open to the public, and are announced on our website and that of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, of which our Center is one of the central elements.

Elisheva Baumgarten

Academic Head

 

 

Research Groups

At any given time, three interdisciplinary research groups are hosted at Mandel Scholion, each focusing on a particular field within the Humanities or Jewish Studies. The groups are composed of senior faculty and doctoral students from the Hebrew University; scholars from outside the University are also frequently invited to participate. The groups strive to study their topics with as much breadth and depth as possible, on the basis of the variety of methodological viewpoints that each scholar brings. Such an opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary research is generally quite rare in the humanities.

Each group consists of eight members – four senior faculty and four doctoral students. Around each group there is also an additional circle of research assistants, students, and other junior scholars who take part in the group's activity.

At the beginning of each academic year, the Center announces the annual competition for three-year Research Groups. Mandel Scholion’s academic committee chooses the new group in its January meeting. Press here to see sample call for proposal for Research Groups (in Hebrew)

Around February each year, the Center publishes a call for applicants for the four positions of doctoral students who will join the group. Those four positions are open to doctoral students at the Hebrew University whose fields of research are close to that of the group. Press here to see sample call for applicants for PhD students (in Hebrew)

Contact

Mandel Scholion – Interdisciplinary Research Center in the Humanities and Jewish Studies 
Faculty of Humanities, Mandel Building, Mount Scopus 
The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 9190501 Israel 
Tel: 972-2-588-1279 
Fax: 972-2-588-1196 
E-Mail: scholion@savion.huji.ac.il