New bursary enables McMaster students to study in Jerusalem


Two McMaster students will be studying for a year in Jerusalem, thanks to a new travel bursary established under the McMaster Student Opportunity Fund.

Rachel Gold, a third year student in psychology, plans to take the Ulpan (intensive course in Hebrew), followed by Israel studies and general studies at the Rothberg International School.

Graduate student David Miller, Department of Religious Studies, is going to take Hebrew for the entire year along with courses and seminars in advanced Biblical Hebrew, Second Temple literature, types of Jewish leadership in late antiquity, and Jews in Greek and Roman literature.

Miller, who has wanted to go to to Israel for some time, expects to spend most of his time studying both modern and Biblical Hebrew, two languages of great importance to Biblical studies.”These will enable me to prepare for comprehensive exams in Early Judaism as well as provide opportunities to conduct research in preparation for my dissertation. I can only imagine what new dimensions studying on location in Israel will contribute to my work as a student of Early Christianity and Early Judaism.”

Alan Mendelson, professor of religious studies, says the annual scholarship will offer participating students many benefits. “In addition to all the academic benefits, it's a wonderful opportunity for students to have experiences that will last a lifetime. They will be immersed in a foreign country and culture at an exciting time for Israel.”

Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have provided $150,000, half of which was donated by the Freeman Family Foundation. Zoltan Freeman is the former president of Hamilton-based Allan Candy Company (now Trebor Allan Inc.). This amount is being matched by the province to establish the Freeman Family Foundation Bursary Fund for Study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.