Summer Schools on Jewish Studies

Schools conducted by the center "Sefer" can be divided into 3 groups: stationary, field and field-excursion.Schools in Moscow, Kiev (Proskurov, Kanev) Kharkiv are stationary. The stationary school is a week-long educational program consisting of lectures and seminars by leading Israeli and local researchers in the field of Jewish Studies. These schools usually consist of 5-8 sections (75-100 participants). In 2002 at the Kharkiv Summer school (July 1-8, 75 students), the Junior section was created for the first time, intended mainly for local students who got the possibility not only to take courses, but also get a credit for them, which was taken into account in the curriculum Of the international Solomon University.

Field-excursion schools (for example, Samarkand, Vilnius, Baku) combine traditional seminars and lectures with familiarization with monuments of Jewish material and spiritual culture, immersion in the atmosphere of Jewish history and culture in different regions.

Field schools (for example, Crimea, Tulchin) focus on practical work: collecting information of an ethnographic nature, cataloging Jewish cemeteries, and archaeological excavations. The number of lectures and seminars is usually less than in other types of schools. More prepared students are invited to participate in these schools.

The first Summer school on Jewish Studies, organized in 1998, which brought together 60 students and young researchers, allowed its participants to attend intensive courses of leading experts from the CIS and Israel in various fields, to establish academic contacts with domestic and Israeli colleagues.

Since then, the number and scale of schools on Jewish Studies has steadily increased: In 1998 and 1999 one Summer school was organized in Moscow, then in 2000 the first Summer schools were held in St. Petersburg and Kharkiv, in 2001-Summer schools in Moscow and Kharkiv, in 2002. Summer schools in Kharkiv, Moscow and Kiev.

Over the past seven years, student schools on Jewish Studies have become an integral part of academic life, contributing to a significant improvement in the quality of University education in this field. In addition, student schools have formed a dynamic community of young people united by an interest in Jewish history and culture, and have become a prominent phenomenon in Jewish social and cultural life in the former Soviet Union.

The steady growth in the number of students has shown that it is impossible to limit ourselves only to Moscow schools – the number of applicants is too large (the number of applications for schools usually exceeds our financial and organizational capabilities) and the topics they deal with are too diverse. The rapid growth in the number of students is due to the overall growing interest in Jewish Studies, common national characteristics of various cultures and the unique atmosphere of intellectual freedom and creative search, developed in a Jewish academic environment. Unfortunately, our limited financial resources make it extremely difficult for students from remote regions to participate in Moscow schools. As one of the ways out of this situation, the idea of holding regional, as well as thematic (dedicated, first of all, to the problems that are most relevant for this region).

Kharkiv became a pioneer in conducting regional and thematic schools on Jewish Studies. since 2000, regular Summer (and sometimes Winter) schools have been held, where students from various regions of the former USSR participated. Students had the opportunity to take courses on the history and culture of Eastern European Jewry and, first of all, on problems related to Khazarian studies and Jewish archaeology, because there is a archaeological school in Kharkiv.

After Kharkiv, there were Kiev (August 23 28, 2002, 60 students), Crimea (October 10 14, 2002, 40 students) and Saint Petersburg (where a student conference and Summer school took place in the summer of 2000)

The list of Summer Schools

Year 2020

Jews as Strangers: symbol and everyday life (August 5-9, 2020)

Year 2019

Moscow Summer School on Jewish Studies(July 9-13, 2019)


Year 2018

Year 2017


Year 2016


Year 2015

Moscow Summer School on Jewish Studies 2015(July 12-17, 2015, 73 participants)

Year 2014

Moscow Summer School on Jewish Studies 2014(July 13-17, 2014, 64 participants)

Year 2013

Moscow Summer School in Jewish Studies 2013(July 8-12, 2013, 78 participants)

Year 2012

Summer School on Jewish Studies in St. Petersburg 2012(July 4-10, 2012, 93 participants)

Year 2011

Summer School on Jewish Studies in Moscow 2011(July 6-12, 2011, 109 participants)


The information on the previous schools so far is only available in Russian