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

Every year the Mandel Scholars program appoints two postdoctoral fellows in the Humanities. The fellowships are granted to researchers from Israel and abroad who have recently received their doctorates, who have demonstrated exceptional abilities and conducted distinctive and extraordinary research, and whose research interests and expertise can enrich academic and cultural discourse.

Each year the call for applicants is published toward the beginning of the academic year, usually around September. Applicants are then sifted in a careful selection process. Successful candidates from Israel and abroad are invited to lecture at the center's main annual event - the Mandel Scholion Lectures Marathon. The two deemed most outstanding are awarded the fellowships and come to Mandel Scholion for three years. At the Center they are provided with conditions conducive to research at the highest level, and a munificent grant which allows them to devote the majority of their time to research. Alongside their research, Mandel Fellows also teach one course per year at the Hebrew University.

Mandel Scholion Mission

The Mandel Scholion Center aspires to facilitate, and encourage, research at the highest level in all branches of the humanities. It does this by providing scholars with a supportive multidisciplinary framework that both allows them to broaden their horizons and to fructify their research by opening them up to the work of colleagues in other fields, and supplies them with 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 fine-tuned, and so they remain: 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 makes for balance and for cross-fertilization.

The generous and stable support of the Mandel Foundation allows Mandel Scholion to supply its fellows with a level of support that is usually available only in a few major centers abroad. Beginning with the Center’s devoted and experienced staff, and through the research assistants and technical and financial support that it offers its fellows, it affords them ideal conditions for their work, while at the same time compensating their departments for their dispensation from teaching a part of their usual course-load during their three years as fellows.

Traditionally, work in the humanities is an individual pursuit. Often it is even programmatically so: even today, the classic model is of a scholar sitting alone with his or her texts, hoping to limit to the bare minimum contacts with others, which could only be bothersome interruptions. Indeed, each scholar who comes to Mandel Scholion has his or her own project, and many individuals’ dreams are fulfilled in the Center, by virtue of the fact that it affords scholars the peace and quiet, and support, they need to finish their long-term projects. But Mandel Scholion is also a laboratory to test the hypothesis, that the opportunity to work alongside other scholars, in other fields of the humanities, will not only allow for the fulfillment of the joint projects of research groups, but will also enhance the quality of each individual’s project as well, imparting them more breadth and depth than could be expected without such an environment. 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 hypothesis is well-founded.

As for the postdocs, who as a rule are not members of research groups: for them Mandel Scholion is something of a greenhouse, which allows them the time and the other conditions they need to complete their publications, gain experience in teaching, and, in general, to devote themselves to making themselves as presentable as possible in the academic job market. The results, to date, are very gratifying: more than twenty past Fellows have been appointed to regular tenure-track positions, whether at the Hebrew University or at other universities, 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 Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, of which our Center is one of the central elements.

Daniel R. Schwartz

Academic Head


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

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)