THE CORE CURRICULUM

The Shalem Core creates a shared conversation that permeates and enriches the learning experience in a way no other curriculum can.

The centerpiece of a Shalem education, our four-year Core Curriculum—the only one of its kind in Israel—is required of all students, regardless of their major. Grounded in works that explore questions of enduring significance—across time and place, in diverse styles, and from different, sometimes conflicting, perspectives—the Core teaches students to be an active participant in the Jewish and Western traditions and to help shape the character and future of their state.

Education for Freedom

Beyond the teaching of certain subjects or provision of particular skills, the Shalem Core seeks to free students from unthinking adherence—both to their own assumptions, and to the unexamined opinions of others.

Seeking Wisdom with Leon Kass

Dean of Faculty Prof. Leon Kass, the public intellectual, physician, and Addie Clark Harding Professor Emeritus in the Committee on Social Thought and in the College at the University of Chicago, leads Great Books seminars for both students and faculty at Shalem. Or rather, he lets the texts lead a conversation: about liberal education, the virtues required for leadership, and the relationship between human excellence and a commitment to one’s society.

Featured Courses

From history to Islam, philosophy to economics, and Bible to Western literature, the Shalem Core is a guided engagement with the past, with the aim of envisioning a better future.

Hebrew Literature and Zionist Thought

A meaningful engagement with Israel’s founding thinkers and texts.

Fundamental Concepts in Economics

An exploration of the principles that drive human behavior and economic prosperity.

Ancient Greek Philosophy

The legacy of the civilization that has most shaped our world.

The Foundations of Islam

The history and philosophy of Islam, with a focus on its classic writings.

Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State

The legal and cultural dualities and how to resolve tensions between them.

Western and Middle Eastern History

The ideas, events, and individuals who have shaped our region and our world.

Understanding the Biological Sciences

The structure, function, growth, distribution, and evolution of living organisms.

The History of Art

Key works from antiquity to the contemporary period, in partnership with The Israel Museum.

News & Stories

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