Contact Us

Department Chair:
Prof. Ori Shachmon 

B.A. Advisor:
Dr. Hoseph Wiztum


M.A. Advisor:
Iyas Nasser

Department Secretary:
Sara Parnassa
Room 4507, Humanities Building
Tel.: 02-5883965




Albert Arazi

Prof. Albert Arazi

Began his academic career at the University of Lyon (France), where he received his BA in Arabic and French language and literature.

Haggai Ben-Shammai

Prof. Haggai Ben-Shammai

Professor Emeritus of Arabic Language and Literature at the Hebrew University. He has served as co-director of the Center for the Study of Judaeo-Arabic Culture and Literature

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(Ben-Zvi Institute, since 1995); President of the Society for Judaeo-Arabic Studies (1997-2013); co-director of the Jewish Studies program at St. Petersburg State University (2000-2006); academic co-director of the Friedberg Genizah Project (since 2003); and Academic Director of the National Library of Israel (October 2009-September 2015). Prof. Ben-Shammai studied at the Hebrew University in the departments of Arabic Language and Literature, history of the Islamic countries and Semitic languages for the degrees of B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. (1962-1977). His interests include Judaeo-Arabic Bible exegesis and philosophy, history of Jewish communities in Islamic countries, with special emphasis on Karaites, and Islamic theology (Kalam). Prof. Ben-Shammai has published numerous articles and chapters in books on these areas and has co-edited several books.

Prof. Ben-Shammai served as visiting professor and research fellow in several universities in England and the U.S.A. (Cambridge, London, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Yeshiva U). He was involved in the founding and academic management of projects aimed at enhancing Jewish studies in Russia, and in organizations active in research and diffusion of Jewish studies, such as the Ben Zvi Institute for the study of Jewish Communities in the East, the Center for the Study of Judaeo-Arabic Culture and Literature and the Friedberg Geniza Project.

On a personal note: Prof. Ben-Shammai was born in Tel-Aviv in 1939, grew up in Jerusalem and has lived to this day in this city. He served in the army in a Nahal unit, and stayed on a Kibbutz for a few years afterwards. He is married to Bitya, who was for many years the editor and director of the RAMBI project. Haggai and Bitya have four married children, twenty grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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Yohanan Friedmann

Prof. Yohanan Friedmann

Max Schloessinger Professor Emeritus. Since 1999, a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He was awarded the Israel Prize for Near Eastern Studies in 2016.

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In 2002 Friedmann was member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 2003 he received the Landau Prize in the Humanities.  Prof. Friedmann continues to teach on a volunteer basis in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature and the Department of Near Eastern Studies.

Friedmann's studies center on Islamic religious thought, mainly in the Indian subcontinent. He assays the historical record for evidence of both tolerance and intolerance of other religious faiths in the Islamic tradition in his most recent work, "Tolerance and Coercion in Islam: Interfaith Relations in the Muslim Tradition". Since 1993, he has been the editor of the acclaimed Hebrew University publication Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam.

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Isaac Hasson

Prof. Isaac Hasson

Professor emeritus at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Arabic Language and Literature. The principal focus of his scholarship has been on Jerusalem in Islam

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, the transition from Jahiliyya to Islam, and contemporary Sunni-Shia relations. His publications include: Fada’il al-Bayt al-Muqaddas of Abu Bakr al-Wasiti (1979); Le voyage de Sa’id ibn Muhammad al-Suwaysi au Yaman 1890-1895 (2008) (in collaboration with A. Arazi); “Muslim Literature in Praise of Jerusalem: Fada’il Bayt al-Maqdis,” The Jerusalem Cathedra, 1 (1981); “The Muslim View of Jerusalem—The Qur’an and Hadith” in J. Prawer and H. Ben-Shammai (eds.), The History of Jerusalem, The Early Muslim Period 638-1099, (1996); “Judham entre la Jahiliyya et l’Islam,” Studia Islamica (1995); “La conversion de Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan,” JSAI (1998; “Les Shiites vus par les Neo-Wahhabites,” Arabica (2006).

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Simon Hopkins

Prof. Simon Hopkins


Grew up in England and studied Semitic languages at the University of London. His doctorate dealt with the language of early Arabic papyri

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and was published as Studies in the Grammar of Early Arabic (1984). After several years of teaching Hebrew at the University of Cape Town, he moved to Israel, where he worked on the Historical Dictionary project at the Academy of the Hebrew Language before joining the Arabic Department of the Hebrew University in 1984.

Simon Hopkins is interested in Semitic philology as a whole, especially in the historical development of Arabic and Aramaic and the relations between them. In these areas he has published work on mediaeval Judaeo-Arabic (particularly Maimonides) and Neo-Aramaic dialects.

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Etan Kohlberg

Prof. Etan Kohlberg

Born in Tel-Aviv in 1943. After completing his military service he began his studies at the Hebrew University and was awarded the B.A. (1966) and M.A. degrees (1968)

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summa cum laude. From 1969 through 1971 he was at Oxford University, where he wrote his doctoral thesis under the supervision of Samuel Stern and Richard Walzer (1969-1971). In 1972 he began teaching at the Hebrew University, and was promoted to senior lecturer four years later. In 1983 he was appointed associate professor and has been a full professor since 1991. He served as Head of the Institute of Asian and African Studies (1987-1989).

Prof. Kohlberg has been awarded the Rothschild Prize (2008) and the EMET Prize (2008) for his unique contribution to the study of Islam and in particular its Shii branch.

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Aryeh Levin

Prof. Aryeh Levin

A recipient of the Israel Prize in General Linguistics (2010). Received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature

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. Over the years, Prof. Levin has held a number of senior positions at the university, including head of the department for Arabic Language and Literature, head of the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Chair of the Advanced Studies Committee of the Faculty of Humanities, and the Henya Sharef Professor Emeritus in Humanities. Professor Levin continues to teach on a volunteer basis in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature until the present day.

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Menahem Milson

Prof. Menahem Milson

Professor (emeritus) of Arabic Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he taught beginning in 1963. He has served as chair of the Middle East Media Research Institute

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(MEMRI). He is author and director of the online edition of the Arabic-Hebrew dictionary originally authored by David Ayalon and Pessah Shinar. Prof. Milson served as the head of the Institute of Asian and African Studies and as Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the Hebrew University. Prof. Milson’s areas of research include Sufi literature, modern Egyptian literature and Arabic lexicography.
He holds a Ph.D. in Arabic literature from Harvard University (1964).

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Shmuel Moreh

Prof. Shmuel Moreh

Recipient of the Israel Prize in Middle Eastern Studies in 1999. Professor (emeritus) Moreh continues to teach in the department on a volunteer basis

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. In addition to having written many books and articles dealing with Arabic literature in general and Iraqi Jewish Arabic literature in particular, he has been a major contributor to Elaph, the first online daily independent journal in Arabic. Professor Moreh publishes in Arabic, Hebrew, and English.

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Gabriel M. Rosenbaum

Prof. Gabriel M. Rosenbaum

Room 5320. Office Hours: By appointment

Was born in Jerusalem and has lived most of his life in Tel Aviv. He received his Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University in 1995 and is a senior lecturer in Arabic Literature at the Hebrew University

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of Jerusalem. His research and academic publications focus on the literature, drama, language and folklore of modern Egypt, based both on written sources and on close contact with Egyptian culture and its makers. He writes fiction prose and poetry in Hebrew and has also published translations of foreign literary works into Hebrew, including two plays by Egyptian playwrights. He has visited Egypt many times and has lectured on several occasions at the Israeli Academic Center in Cairo.

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Sarah Stroumsa

Prof. Sarah Stroumsa

Alice and Jack Ormut Professor Emerita of Arabic Studies. She taught in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature and the Department of Jewish Thought

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at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she served as the Rector of the University from 2008 until 2012. Her area of academic focus includes the history of philosophical and theological thought in Arabic in the early Islamic Middle Ages, Medieval Judaeo-Arabic literature, and intellectual history of Muslims and Jews in Islamic Spain. Among her published works in English: Freethinkers of Medieval Islam: Ibn alRāwaādī, Ab ū Bakr al-Rāzī, and Their Impact on Islamic Thought (Leiden: Brill, 1999; Paperback edition 2016); Maimonides in his World: Portrait of a Mediterranean Thinker (Princeton: Princeton University, 2010; Paperback edition 2012) and Dāwūd al-Muqammaṣ, Twenty Chapters (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2016).

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