Quick Info

  • Israel: Jerusalem & Tel Aviv
  • Summer
  • : Panther Program
  • : History, History of Art and Architecture, Religious Studies
  • : May 18 - June 15, 2019
  • : $6,199 In-State / $6,399 Out-of-State (A $2,000 guaranteed scholarship to each of the top 10 applicants)
  • : January 20, 2019
  • : 2.75 GPA, Pitt Students: Must have completed 24 credits on a Pitt campus, Clear Judicial Record


Need to fulfill a general education requirement?  We've got courses for that!  Take a look below:

This program satisfies the 3 foreign culture requirements and the non-Western requirement for students in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences admitted prior to fall 2018.

For A&S students admitted in fall 2018:

 The RELGST 1160 course fulfills the Historical Analysis or the Specific Geographic Region requirement.

The RELGST 1258 course fulfills a Literature requirement.

The holy city of Jerusalem is at the heart of the Western religious imagination and of contemporary political conflict in the Middle East. Traditionally it has been a center of religious pilgrimage, home to Israelite kings and Islamic caliphs. Today it is a cutting-edge urban center marked by stunning demographic diversity, a rapidly expanding economy, and an intractable political crisis. In this course, we will examine the history of the city—from its earliest days to today—with an eye toward its religious significance in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Special attention will be given to Jerusalem’s changing urban fabric: its architecture, neighborhoods, natural resources, economy, and religious institutions.

You can see the course draft syllabus (subject to change) here: RELGST 1160 Draft Syllabus

Reading literature from places of conflict provides an opportunity to go beyond headlines and gain insight into the day-to-day existence, desires, imaginings, and perspectives of the people who live there. Reading literature also reveals how religious values and practices become a part of everyday culture and how those values are embraced or challenged. This course will introduce students to the literature produced by Israeli and Palestinian authors, with a focus on how contemporary issues in Israeli and Palestinian society are depicted by writers from each culture.  Topics will include: how these writers construct place; the role of religious texts in literature; conflicts and community within each society; how literature helped shape an Israeli national consciousness and a Palestinian national consciousness; how Israeli and Palestinian writers imagine the other; and the role of the Shoah in Israeli literature and the Nakba in Palestinian literature. The course will equally focus on developing students’ academic and reflective writing skills. Students will produce a combination of literary analysis and self-reflective writing that uses techniques of creative nonfiction. Together, these writing assignments will help students respond to both the course texts and the cultural experience of studying in Israel-Palestine.

You can see the course draft syllabus (subject to change) here: RELGST 1258 Draft Syllabus

On-Site Faculty And Staff

 Ben Gordon is an assistant professor in the Religious Studies department at Pitt. His research focuses on the material culture and religion of Israel-Palestine in classical antiquity. Before earning his doctorate at Duke, he lived in Jerusalem for eight years and trained as an archaeologist at the Hebrew University, where he completed an M.A. He has excavated at several sites in the region and has worked on the publication of the Temple Mount excavations in Jerusalem and the Western Summit excavations at Sepphoris.

Kevin Haworth is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Nonfiction and the author of four books, most recently the essay collection Famous Drownings in Literary History. He taught Israeli and Palestinian Literature to overseas students for five years at Tel Aviv University’s International School and publishes widely on Israeli culture and literature. His flash essay about the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, “Two Minutes,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has lived and worked on two kibbutzim in northern Israel, in the Negev Desert, and in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He now teaches in the English Department at Carnegie Mellon University.


Students will stay in shared bedrooms in a hostel within walking distance of central attractions in each location. Each room will hold three to four students of the same gender. Hostels include daily breakfasts and en-suite bathrooms, as well as shared kitchen space should students want to prepare their own meals.

Pricing And Dates

"Summer 2019"

In-State Fee Out-of-State Fee
$6,199 $6,399
Arrive in Jerusalem  Depart Tel Aviv
May 18, 2019 June 15, 2019
A $2,000 scholarship will be awarded to each of the top 10 applicants.

Keep in mind that dates might change.  You shouldn't book airfare until given confirmation from your program manager.


All students are required to attend the mandatory Pre-Departure Bash.  This afternoon long event will cover important topics relevant to study abroad like health, safety, security, and more.  Plus, it will give you the chance to meet other students studying abroad on your programs!  Alumni and staff will also be present to help you start thinking about your goals for the program.

The Pre-Departure Bash for this program will be on: February 1, 2019. Your program manager will follow up with more information once you begin your application!


Inclusions & Exclusions

As a part of your program fee, the following are included:

  • Tuition for 6 credits
  • Housing 
  • International travel health insurance
  • Some excursions
  • Daily breakfasts

While your program fee will cover most of your expenses, keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:

  • Study Abroad Administrative Fee $300
  • International airfare
  • Meals and incidentals
  • Personal expenses

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

Special Information

A $2,000 scholarship will be awarded to each of the top 10 applicants.

Ready to get started on your application?  

Program Staff

Nazir Noori

Walk-In Advising Hours: MWF 2-4 PM

Salam! I’m Nazir and I am a Program Manager at the Study Abroad Office. I was born and raised abroad and went to school in Afghanistan, Iran, and the U.S. I also took classes in India and United Arab Emirates. I worked for the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and German Foreign Office for over ten years before moving to Pittsburgh in 2014. At the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, I assisted Afghan students to study in the U.S., and now I am glad I have the opportunity to help American students study abroad. Stop by the office during my walk-in hours (Mon, Wed, and Fri, 2-4pm) or get in touch with me at nazir.noori@pitt.edu or 412-383-4827 to discuss the study abroad options.