Israel is a democratic nation-state and its society is characterized by a wide range of cultures. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) represents and expresses this variety, which combines the history, culture, and traditions of different groups in Israeli society. The location of BGU in the Negev region, which is home to many different ethnic groups, makes it a perfect representative of Israeli pluralism and the ideal institution to establish and lead the first Israel Studies program of its kind in Israel for international students.
The Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel was established in 1976 by the Knesset Law perpetuating David Ben-Gurion's memory, and by an agreement between the Ben-Gurion Foundation and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The institute's raison d'être is to examine the Jewish People's renewal in its homeland. The institute's faculty includes scholars from various fields of the humanities and social sciences: history, political science, sociology, anthropology, geography, Middle East studies, literature and philosophy. Many of the scholars engage in inter-disciplinary work.
The Israel Studies International Program (ISIP) provides students with a comprehensive state-of-the-art background in key subjects and research methods in Israel Studies. The knowledge and skills that students acquire, accompanied by an academic diploma recognized by academic institutions worldwide, provides a solid foundation for those intending to pursue doctoral degrees in related fields. A degree in Israel Studies is of value for candidates seeking to enter administrative, diplomatic, civil, or teaching positions related to Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world.