Initially, in 2000, the Centre for Biblical, Hebrew and Judaic Studies was established in cooperation with the International Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization (the Hebrew University of Jerusalem). It was an academic structure entirely focused on training specialists in the field of Jewish studies, with the participation of both leading Russian and Israeli lecturers. The Centre’s programme included three main tracks: Biblical Studies, Medieval Jewish Studies, and Studies of Eastern European Jewry; it was principally elaborated and organized in such a way that students on all three tracks could work with the Jewish manuscripts and documents kept in St. Petersburg. The Centre provided students with a 5-year Specialist Degree.
Then, in 2011, a full-fledged Department of Jewish Culture was established at St. Petersburg State University, becoming the successor to the Centre for Biblical, Hebrew and Judaic Studies. For the first time in the history of the State University, a titular Jewish department was established; its programmes developed with the participation of some leading Israeli experts in the field of Jewish civilization offer a comprehensive study of main issues related to the history and culture of Jews in various periods of life in major areas of habitation, and first of all, Eastern European and Russian Jewry. The operation of the Department of Jewish Culture at the largest university in St. Petersburg is designed to become a key element in the training of specialists in the history and culture of the Jewish people, the rebuilding and development of the traditions of the St. Petersburg school of Jewish studies, and to ensure the continuity of the academic process in different fields of Jewish education in Russia and the presence of Russian Jewish studies in the international academic community. Starting that academic year, the Department switched to a Bachelor’s-Master’s degree system and enrolled its first Bachelor’s students of the unique for Russia profile “Jewish Culture”. In parallel, a Master’s Degree programme on the history and culture of Jews in ancient, medieval and modern times was introduced. In addition, post-graduate studies are also institutionalized in the Department. Among the Department of Jewish Culture’s most important scholarly projects are the publication, starting in 2013, of an academic Jewish studies journals, “Judaica Petropolitana” and “The Jewish Speech” under the auspices of the Department and the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (contributions in Russian, English, and Hebrew). Department of Jewish Culture’s projects receive support from a number of major Russian federal funds – e. g., The Russian Scientific Fund, The Russia State Humanitarian Fund, as well as from some international Jewish foundations, such as The Genesis Philanthropy Group, The Rothschild Foundation Europe, The Jewish Dutch Humanitarian Fund, and also The Russian Jewish Congress.
Phone number: 328-95-52, add.: 1859