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Hebrew University - Fall, Spring & Year

This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.

Remember to also visit the Participants section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network

Liaison Office Abroad

The Liaison Officer is Jonathan Kaplan, the director of the Undergraduate Division at Rothberg International School. He will be your primary contact for emergency and disciplinary matters. Together with the Academic Head of the Division, Kaplan coordinates a team of six faculty and staff members who are responsible for all academic advising. The Undergraduate Division handles enrollment and registration and assists students in this process. In addition, the division retains the services of a clinical psychologist for purposes of evaluation and crisis intervention, and also consults with an expert on learning disabilities and refers students with relevant needs to both the Counseling Services and Learning Disability Center.
Jonathan Kaplan, Director
Division of Undergraduate Studies
Rothberg International School
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office phone: (972) 2-588-2610/1615
Mobile phone: (972) 54-581-1145
Fax: (972) 2-588-2363

Phone Number Codes

U.S. international code .........011
(dial this to call from the U.S.)
Israel country code.............. 972
Jerusalem city code .............2

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Academic Information
Program Overview
You will study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Rothberg International School (RIS), with the option of taking courses in other HU departments for those with sufficient Hebrew language skills. RIS offers a number of exciting programs, detailed below: a spring honors seminar track, an Arabic immersion program, and three programs in the arts, offered jointly with the highly-regarded Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and the Bezalel Academy of the Arts.
If you pass a pre-placement test at level “Ptor,” you may request an exemption from the Ulpan only for health or another serious reason. E-mail your request to with a copy to and The decision will be made by Hebrew University, not by UCEAP or by the New York HU office.

University Information

Officially founded in 1925, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has had a tumultuous history, parallel to that of Israel. Since Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967, the university has expanded and today includes campuses at Mount Scopus (Rothberg International School, as well as law, social sciences, and humanities), Edmond Safra (Givat Ram: natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science), Ein Kerem (health sciences), and Rehovot (agriculture and veterinary medicine). Hebrew University enrolls more than 24,000 students. Rothberg International School, where most UCEAP students take courses, enrolls about 3,000 students, including international students from over 60 countries.
Academic Culture


For information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.

Independent Research Projects

Independent research projects for academic credit may be possible in this program. For information contact Yonatan Kaplan, the UCEAP Liaison Officer, upon arrival.

Withdrawal Before the Program Begins

Hebrew University policy concerning withdrawal from the program at any time between application and before it begins is detailed on their website, with the withdrawal fee increasing as the program start date nears. If you withdraw from the program before it begins (the Official UCEAP Start Date prior to the Ulpan), you will be charged approximately $155 by Hebrew University. This charge is in addition to any UCEAP withdrawal fee. Note that students who withdraw before the program begins will not be refunded their (term or year) housing deposit.
Course Information

Pre-term language study

Ulpan (Intensive Hebrew Language Program)​
The program begins for all students with a required Hebrew language program, known as an Ulpan. The Ulpan is an intensive, immersive Hebrew language course that incorporates a traditional curriculum of foreign language instruction to build reading, writing, and conversation skills, but also includes exposure to Israeli news media, music, movies, TV and radio, and field trips.
The “summer Ulpan” precedes the fall term for fall semester and year participants. The “winter Ulpan” precedes the spring term for spring semester participants. Based on skill level, students are placed in one of the many levels of Hebrew offered in the Ulpan, from very basic to extremely advanced.
The Ulpan may be taken for a letter grade or P/NP.

Academic Program: Term or Year

You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad and enroll in four courses, totaling at least 18 UC quarter units per semester (in addition to units earned through the Ulpan). Most Hebrew language courses earn 9 units, and most other courses earn 4.5 UC quarter units each. You will enroll in the fall, spring, or year option at The Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School, which is responsible for organizing programs for international students. The UCEAP Liaison Officer and staff will help you to prepare your final study plans after arrival in Jerusalem. While it is important to plan your program before leaving UC, also be prepared to make adjustments once in Israel.
Each semester you will take at least four courses, usually including Hebrew (see Language Study section below for Hebrew language requirements). The balance of the academic program consists of Rothberg International School courses (most taught in English) or regular HU classes (taught in English, or Hebrew - if your language skills permit).
You may take advanced science and mathematics courses in Hebrew only through HU if you possess the appropriate language skills.
The curriculum of the Rothberg International School includes offerings with varying degrees of difficulty and a range of subject matter intended to appeal to a wide spectrum and level of students from many institutions. Most courses focus on some aspect of Israel, Jerusalem, or the Middle East. Of particular interest to UC students are courses in ancient history, anthropology, archaeology, Hebrew language/literature, history, Holocaust studies, international relations, legal studies, Medieval studies, Middle Eastern studies, philosophy, political science, and religious studies. The Rothberg International School offers a small number of courses in art history, music, education, economics, psychology, and communication.
If you possess advanced competency in modern Hebrew, you are encouraged to enroll in Hebrew University courses taught in Hebrew. (English literature, American Studies, and a small number of other courses are taught in English.) You may be allowed to take exams and write papers in English, but you must make such arrangements early in the term. Resolve conflicts with final exam scheduling prior to finalizing course registration. Note that HU courses in Hebrew end later in June; see the Calendars tab on the Participants page.

Language Study

Hebrew language study is required during the fall term for fall and year students and during the spring term for spring students.
  • Students who wish to study Arabic in addition to the required Hebrew language study may take Arabic as part of their regular course load.
  • Students who wish to substitute Arabic for the required Hebrew language study have the option of taking Colloquial Arabic or Literary Arabic. Colloquial Arabic will be offered at the beginner's level in the fall and at the beginner's and intermediate level in the spring. Literary Arabic will be offered in the Graduate Division at the beginner's level in the fall and at the intermediate level in the spring. The Graduate Division will also offer a year-long more advanced intermediate class. Note that the Graduate Department has a different calendar, ending later than RIS and requiring a longer stay in housing, with increased housing cost. Also, the timetabling of Literary Arabic may conflict with other courses being taken at RIS.

RIS Arabic Immersion

Arabic is one of Israel’s official languages and is spoken in many parts of the country. The RIS Arabic Immersion program is based on the principle of total immersion—the constant and exclusive use of a language in its native social and cultural environment. Studies combine formal classes, interaction with native speakers outside the classroom, and exposure to the religious and cultural elements that have left their indelible mark on the Arabic language. All studies will be held in Arabic and you will speak exclusively in Arabic for the duration of the program.
Course Information: In addition to 18 UC quarter units of Arabic (12 semester units), you are required to take a designated course in the area of Arab society and culture (4.5 UC quarter units/3 semester units). You will also participate in a Co-curricular Activities course worth 3 UC quarter units (2 semester units). At the end of the program, you will receive a total of 25.5 UC quarter units (17 semester units) and a certificate of completion.

RIS offers several specialized study tracks during the term:


Special Programs

Students in the special programs outlined in this section are exempted from the Hebrew language requirement during the semester, but are required to participate in the Ulpan prior to their first semester. All special programs end later in June than the RIS courses. See the Calendars tab on the Participants page for exact dates of each program. All special programs in the arts have additional fees, as described below.

1. Spring in Jerusalem Honors Option (jointly offered with Harvard University)

The Spring in Jerusalem honors track seminars are open to outstanding students on a competitive basis during the spring semester. At the conclusion of the semester, students present papers in an academic symposium. Students who complete their studies in the track with an average of 80 or above in either semester receive an Undergraduate Honors Certificate and special Honors citation on their transcript. The Rothberg International School offers seminars in a wide range of areas including Israel studies, Middle Eastern studies, business and economics, and Judaic studies. If you have the appropriate academic background, you may enroll once abroad. UCEAP strongly recommends you take the honors seminars.
Course Information: Most honors students take 22.5 UC quarter units. Choose at least two courses from the special list of advanced HU courses in English (those with sufficient language skills may choose certain HU courses offered in Hebrew). Remaining coursework can be chosen from RIS courses, language study, or the strongly-recommended independent study research seminar.

2. Jerusalem Sounds (jointly offered with Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance)

Jerusalem Sounds includes a full music program consisting of individual instruction, performance in small and large ensembles, and classes in Jewish and Israeli music. A wide range of courses in various subjects is offered through the Rothberg International School.
Course Information: You will take 24 UC quarter units including the following components:
  • Individual instruction
  • Ensembles
  • Klezmer Seminar and Workshop or The Hebrew Song: History, Poetry, and Music
  • Two courses at the Rothberg International School


3. DanceJerusalem (jointly offered with Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance)

DanceJerusalem offers artistic training in dance skills and technique and exposure to Israel’s challenging social, historical, and cultural environment. Disciplines include classical ballet, contemporary dance, choreography, repertoire, and improvisation. This is a chance to create, rehearse, and perform works with outstanding Israeli composers and choreographers.
Course Information: Choose from one of these two programs:


DanceJerusalem year program: 
  • Fall: Dance courses and two courses at the Rothberg International School
  • Intersession: Israeli Choreographers Workshop Intensive of class & rehearsal. This workshop runs parallel with the Winter Ulpan.
  • Spring: Dance courses and two courses at the Rothberg International School

DanceJerusalem Fall or Spring semester program

  • Dance courses and two courses at the Rothberg International School

Note: The Intersession Workshop is required of all Spring Semester Program students.


4. ArtJerusalem (jointly offered with Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design)

The Bezalel Academy is Israel’s most renowned art and design institution. The ArtJerusalem program includes a wide variety of art courses in such areas as painting, sculpture, drawing, and screen printing. You may also choose from a broad selection of courses at the Rothberg International School.
Course Information: Choose one of the following tracks:
Art Specialization Track (22.5 UC quarter units)
  • 12 credits of Bezalel classes per semester
  • 3 credits of Rothberg International School classes per semester
Art Academic Track (21–24 UC quarter units)
  • 7–8 credits of Bezalel classes per semester
  • 7–8 credits of Rothberg International School classes per semester
Art Exposure Track (22.5 UC quarter units)
  • 3 credits of Bezalel classes per semester
  • 12 credits of Rothberg International School classes per semester
Fees for Special Programs in the Arts
DanceJerusalem, Jerusalem Sounds, and all ArtJerusalem options charge lab fees that you must pay directly. For DanceJerusalem and Jerusalem Sounds, the lab fee will be $500 per semester or $1,000 for a year. Pay directly to the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (JAMD). The fee covers concert tickets and travel (DanceJerusalem) and individual instruction (Jerusalem Sounds). For the Art Specialization and Art Academic tracks of ArtJerusalem, the lab fee will be $500 per semester or $1,000 for a year. For the Art Exposure track of Art Jerusalem, the lab fee will be $200 per semester or $400 for a year. Pay directly to the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. The fee covers supplies and equipment rental. All fees are subject to change.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself
The Hebrew University Rothberg International School website is a valuable resource. Make good use of its wealth of information in your predeparture preparation.

Travel Resources

Many good guides to Jerusalem and Israel are available in Jerusalem. Most are inexpensive and can be purchased after arrival.
If you join the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel, you will have access to The AACI Expanded Jerusalem Consumer Guide, which is published by the association. The Rothberg International School website lists the addresses of numerous new and used bookstores, while the Ministry of Tourism offices distribute maps and other free materials.
Dress Codes
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation

Orientations at Different Stages

You are required to attend an orientation prior to departure. Your UC Campus EAP Office may or may not provide an orientation, but the New York office of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) will definitely provide a telephone orientation close to departure time. The New York HU office will e-mail you with a date, time of day, and call-in number. You are encouraged to participate and also to invite family to call into the orientation.
The program officially begins with a mandatory orientation at the beginning of Ulpan classes in Jerusalem. The Official Start Date is noted in the Israel program calendar on the UCEAP website. Failure to arrive by the Official Start Date and attend all orientation sessions is grounds for dismissal from the program. Details concerning arrival and orientation will be available in the Arrival/Orientation Information found in the online UCEAP Predeparture Checklist when the information is finalized.
Lastly, Rothberg International School (RIS) provides an extremely important and serious orientation at the beginning of the academic term. Attendance at all sessions of the RIS orientation is mandatory. Speakers, who may be law enforcement and military officials, will emphasize personal safety and campus security.
Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
You must arrive in Israel by the UCEAP Official Start Date. Hebrew University arranges its own group flights from New York and will send you information about the option. Usually, the option will offer an add-on flight to New York. You are strongly encouraged to take the appropriate group flight. It is accompanied by a Hebrew University staff member and is met at Ben-Gurion Airport, where you will be taken by bus to the orientation/Ulpan site.
If you choose to travel independently to Israel, you must make your own way from the airport into Jerusalem. Independent travelers usually take a shared taxi (sherut) from the airport, an option that past UCEAP students recommend.
The Official Start Date can change due to unforeseen circumstances. You are responsible for making modifications in your travel itinerary to accommodate such changes. UCEAP is not responsible for any non-recoverable transportation expenses you may incur for independent travel arrangements. In order to be kept informed of any program changes, maintain updated personal contact information in MyEAP.
Travel Documents
Packing Tips
UCEAP Travel Restriction While in Israel

Travel around Israel

Apply the same principles of personal safety that you use while in Jerusalem. You are prohibited from visiting the West Bank or Gaza, whether or not the borders are open.
The UCEAP Student Budget does not include funds for recreational travel.
Return Travel
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Handling Money Abroad
Numerous scholarships are available from Hebrew University and other organizations. After acceptance, contact both Hebrew University as well as the following organizations:

MASA Grant/Scholarship & Rothberg Fund/Scholarship

These two awards are not money disbursed to students at any time. After arrival in Israel, you will be required to complete an application, and the award will be disbursed directly to Rothberg International School to decrease the cost of what you would otherwise be charged for the program. Completing the application is mandatory for all UCEAP students. (Your UCEAP fees are already reduced by the amount of the award.) Receiving one of these awards does not affect the availability of any other MASA need-based scholarships or funding from any other sources.
Other Outside Agency Scholarships
Students who receive Outside Agency Scholarships (such as MASA need-based or AJLI)
Please note these awards are usually paid directly to the student and typically come very late in the program or after the program has ended.
These scholarships are not the same as the MASA Grant awarded by HU, which is applied directly to your UCEAP HU account.
In order to avoid a block being placed on your UC student account or grades being held, you will need to pay all UCEAP fees (less other UC campus financial aid of grants, campus scholarships, loans, etc.) by the final payment due date, regardless of receipt of the scholarship by the student. 
UCEAP does not coordinate with these outside agencies, so the student must coordinate with them directly.
If you are a recipient of one of these Outside Agency Scholarships, you are required to report the award to your home UC Financial Aid Office.
Communications Abroad
Internet Access
Mail & Shipments
Housing & Meals
Where Will I Live?
You cannot make alternate housing arrangements, even if Hebrew University states you may do so. The University of California does not allow UCEAP students to live off campus. You are subject to dismissal from the program if you do not follow UCEAP regulations.
For security reasons, UCEAP requires you to live in the on-campus dorms.
You must make your dormitory reservation and payment for term or year housing directly with the Rothberg International School (RIS). Request dormitory housing on the participation form sent by RIS after you are admitted. Return the form immediately to reserve a room. UCEAP fees will cover the Ulpan housing cost, but RIS will invoice you for your term or year housing and you must pay the housing bill in full before departure. Committing to an optional payment plan will be considered as payment in full.
Your housing payment will generate the “zero balance” statement required by the Israeli consulate to apply for a student visa.

Dormitory Options

During the Ulpan and the academic term or year at the Hebrew University, you will live in university accommodations on the Mount Scopus campus. For security reasons, you are required to live in the Student Village, Resnick dormitories, or Idelson apartment building.
The student housing complexes on Mount Scopus, overlooking the incredible panorama of Jerusalem, are walking distance from the university. They offer an independent setting appropriate for international students. Living in university housing is an important part of the overall experience of studying abroad. RIS students have the opportunity to meet new friends from different cultures and continents—North America, South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe—as well as a chance to share experiences with Israeli students. You will be allocated housing provided you make your reservation on time. Space may be limited in the spring semester.
A staff of specially selected Israeli students (called madrichim) who reside in the dormitories assist you in your adjustment to campus life at the Hebrew University and help you obtain the full benefit of your stay in Israel.
The Student Village complex consists of apartment-style buildings with five-bedroom suites. Students here are usually housed in single bedrooms. The bedrooms contain a bed, desk, chair, and closet. Kitchen and bathroom facilities are shared with suitemates. The Resnick dormitories have 20 people to a floor, two people to a room, and a common kitchen, bathroom, and social area. The Idelson apartments have six-person suites consisting of three bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. All housing has central heating and is in other respects, pleasantly arranged and comfortable.
You can have a phone installed in your room. It is best to reach students on either their landlines or their personal cell phones. However, messages can be left for students living in the dormitories:
Student Village: (011 972 2) 581-5638
Resnick:(011 972 2) 581-8115
For security reasons, the caller must give your exact dormitory address. Messages may not reach you immediately; do not rely on this method regularly.
Internet access is available in dorms for a fee.
Bedding is not provided, so take linens, towels, and a few blankets or buy these items upon arrival during the shopping trips planned during orientation. Electric blankets are available for purchase at the student bookstore on campus. A lightweight, down sleeping bag (or the equivalent) is highly recommended for traveling and for use as a comforter. Self-service automatic washing machines and dryers are located in each dormitory complex.
There are ATMs in the Forum of the Mount Scopus campus, near the Bloomfield Library, and by the entrance to Bank Discount. These ATMs accept a wide variety of local and international cards. ATMs that give instructions in English to holders of cards issued abroad are found throughout the city.
The largest bookstore in town and a general store are located on campus. The general store carries mainly stationery and related articles, but it also has cosmetics at reduced prices and some clothing, CDs, etc.


One of the Hebrew University’s highest priorities is the safety and well-being of its students. Like all public institutions in Israel, the Hebrew University employs a 24-hour security network, with guards located at all campus entrances and units patrolling the campus, dormitory complexes, and the vicinity of the university. There is an officer on duty at all times. Most security officials are officers in the Israeli Defense Forces Reserve.
Entrance to the campus is permitted only to Hebrew University students and staff. If you would like to have family members or other guests visit the campus, you must make arrangements in advance through your madrichim or the OSA office.
The university’s Security Department maintains close contact with government security agencies. Security measures and guidelines for international students are in accordance with U.S. Department of State recommendations. The Rothberg International School administration meets regularly to review existing security procedures. The overseas student population and the RIS offices abroad are regularly updated regarding security matters and they receive copies of all relevant official communications.
You are responsible for your own meals. While there is no meal plan, the kitchens are equipped with stove burners and refrigerators for preparing light meals and snacks. You can find moderately priced kosher cafeterias and snack bars in addition to small supermarkets in or near each student housing complex. Some students eat at least one meal per day in the university cafeterias although most cook for themselves. Kitchen utensils are not provided in the dormitories; however, you can purchase them in Israel. Since fish can be expensive, most Israelis eat a lot of meat and dairy products, fruit, and vegetables. A typical lunch usually costs $5-8 and includes chicken, rice or potatoes, a vegetable, dessert, and a drink.
There are two large shopping centers close to campus with supermarkets, laundries, clothing stores, pharmacies, etc. You can purchase fresh fruit and vegetables in Mahane Yehuda, the main open-air market (shuk). You can also find bargain prices on household articles and staples such as rice, flour, spices, and nuts. Good restaurants serving local dishes can be found at the Mahane Yehuda market and the nearby downtown area.
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
One of the most important topics discussed during on-site orientation will be personal safety while using local public transportation. You are expected to understand and follow whatever guidelines you receive.
Public transportation is widely available in Israel. Buses, taxis and trains are readily available. The preferred method of transportation is the taxi. When possible, call a taxi by phone rather than hailing one on the street. Students are advised to avoid bus stations and buses in Israel, as they have historically been targets for terrorist attacks.
According to Hebrew University, in recent years, Israel has increased its security on public buses. Bus drivers receive extra training, special security personnel are now stationed at bus stops along the side of the road and regularly board buses to ensure the safety of passengers. If you take a bus from the central bus station, you will go through airport-like security with bag screenings and metal detectors. If you are uncomfortable taking public buses, it is easy to catch a taxi to town from campus for about $9. The express buses that go directly from one central bus station to another are secure, but you can alternatively choose to take a sherut (10-seater communal taxi) to travel outside the city.
During the academic year a shuttle runs between the bus terminal beneath the Forum on the Mount Scopus campus and the dormitory complexes. You can alight and board at any of the stops. The shuttle leaves from the bus terminal every 15 minutes between 6 and 9 p.m. You must present a student card in order to board the shuttle. The shuttle schedule is not set by Rothberg International School, but extra daytime hours are added during arrival/registration weeks.
Extracurricular Activities
In order to integrate more fully into the Israeli community, you are encouraged to participate in cultural and other activities. The Office of Student Activities (OSA) at the Rothberg International School organizes various extracurricular events and excursions. Join clubs, sports teams, or music/theater/art groups; provide volunteer services to social organizations; participate in athletic events and religious activities; and attend lectures, discussions, and receptions in academic and community circles.
You will become a member of the Students’ Union, which sponsors a wide range of activities including a weekly movie, concert, and speakers’ series. There are sports facilities, clubs, and classes on the Edmond Safra campus (Givat Ram) and the Mount Scopus campus. See the Hebrew University website for detailed information on available facilities at the university and in the city. The Lerner Family Indoor Sports Complex on the Mount Scopus campus is the most advanced sports facility in Jerusalem.
Aerobics and dance are available in dormitories and at Beit Hillel. Beit Hillel, Beit Atid, and other organizations provide social, cultural, and religious activities including concerts, lectures, and discussions. Religious counselors are available to help Jewish and Christian students find appropriate places of worship and other religious facilities.
Many UCEAP students do volunteer work while in Israel. Some work at the Hadassah University Medical Center, while others tutor children or work with youth groups, hearing-impaired children, or the elderly.
Students with Disabilities
Travel Sign-out Form
UCEAP Insurance
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
Physical Health
Prescription Medication
Mental Health
Student Counseling Services
The RIS Student Counseling Services are intended for students who seek help with personal distress and psychological problems. The counselors are psychologists, social workers, and psychia­trists specializing in work with students on campus. All information, including the client’s identity, is confidential and will not be given to any person or organi­zation outside the Counseling Services without the consent of the student.
The first counseling appointment can be arranged by going in person to the Student Counseling Services. A fee is charged for each session. A student in acute or immediate need can go to the Student Counseling Services without prior notice or an appointment. The student will be seen by a counselor for screening, and together they will try to find a way to handle the immediate problem. Students needing help after hours, including Fridays and Shabbat, should contact their madrich in the dormitories. Every student at the Hebrew University is entitled to use these services.
Maiersdorf (Reznik) Building 10, Mount Scopus, Tel. 02-5882685, 5881699, Fax: 02-5817212
Office Hours: Sunday-Thursday 8:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
The Herzog Hospital in the Givat Shaul neighborhood of West Jerusalem is a well-respected institution that specializes in geriatric and mental healthcare. The Israel Center For the Treatment of Psychotrauma (ICTP), is a worldwide leader in dealing with psychological trauma cases, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).
Health Risks
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk

​All students at the Rothberg International School are expected to abide by the laws of the State of Israel and to follow the rules and regulations of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Rothberg International School (RIS). The RIS routinely provides its students with security guidelines to ensure their safety and well-being. Areas outside Israel that are under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority constitute a serious security threat for all students, regardless of their nationality. The Provost of the Rothberg International School urges all students to refrain from entering such areas. It should be absolutely clear to all students that the RIS cannot be responsible for the well-being of any student who enters an area under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.



Note to You and Your Family from RIS

Security is the most important issue in Israel and it encompasses all aspects of living in Israel. Hebrew University spends a large part of its resources just to make sure that the campus is secure and that students and faculty are able to do their work in peace. At the Rothberg International School (RIS), while we follow the security instructions, we also have our own set of additional regulations, which we convey to you through orientations, SMS text messages, publications, and the website. The RIS, home to students from over 50 countries, assumes a special task in providing physical and emotional support for its student population, due to its unique nature. Since students are usually short-term visitors in the country, whose families live abroad and hence are less able to communicate directly, the RIS takes special notice of their needs. At times of heightened tension, HU security, faculty, and staff take special steps to ease the pressure and ensure the students’ safety and well-being.
You can travel freely in West Jerusalem. As always, avoid confrontation, look out for suspicious objects, and do not travel alone. During times of heightened tensions, contact your parents and family and let them know that you are safe.


Taking pictures of military facilities or security around major government facilities is prohibited. Guards may question people taking pictures of such locations and confiscate the media. There are no restrictions on photographing people, though some people remain superstitious regarding the issue; it is best to request permission before taking pictures of people. Ultra-Orthodox Jews do not allow photography during Shabbat.
Crime & Prevention
Civil Unrest

​Jerusalem has long been a major target for attacks and remains the most likely location for future attacks, as it is at the center of political tensions and religious symbolism. In addition, Jewish extremists have attempted several attacks against Arab Israelis in Haifa and Jerusalem in the past few years. These groups are most active in Jerusalem, where there is both a large population of Jewish extremists and Arab Israelis. This underscores the need for precautions while in Jerusalem.


Traffic & Transportation Safety
​Israeli roads and highways tend to be crowded, especially in urban areas. Aggressive driving is commonplace.
Public transportation is widely available in Israel. Buses, taxis, and trains are readily available and efficient. The preferred method of transportation is the taxi. Students are advised to avoid bus stations and buses in Israel, as they have often been targets for terrorist attacks. U.S. citizen employees of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem and their families have been prohibited from using public buses and light rail networks. Buses do not operate on Shabbat.
If you feel harassed, seek counsel, get advise from the Liaison Officer. The incident should be reported. Harassment issues may be difficult to identify abroad, where cultural norms are different than in the U.S. A fair rule of thumb is to assume that sexual harassment consists of any unwanted sexual advances and behavior of a verbal, visual, written, or physical nature in living arrangements or in an educational or work environment. Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Safety chapter, for more information.
In addition to resources at the university, there are several organizations available in Jerusalem to help students deal with instances of sexual assault or violence. The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel operates the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center in Memory of Linda Feldman (JRCC) and a countrywide 24-hour hotline that can be reached by dialing 1202 (for women), 1203 (for men); the main switchboard for the JRCC can be reached at 02-623-2451 during regular business hours.
Security Services
UCEAP Contingency Planning
Fire Safety
In the Event of a Local Emergency
In An Emergency
The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action office.

* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.