Spurred by concern over an evident decline in the breadth and reach of teaching and research in the Humanities in Israel, the Planning and Budget Committee of the Council for Higher Education (VATAT) and Yad Hanadiv partnered in 2008 to create the Humanities Fund. The Fund provides researchers with opportunities to advance innovative projects and promote collaboration across disciplines and institutions, with an eye towards long-term improvements in the status of the Humanities in Israel.
Announcing the establishment of the Fund (in December 2008) provided this description of Fund objectives: ‘The Fund is designed to support activities with the potential to generate long-term improvements in the quality of programmes, level of research and teaching, and coverage of fields on a national level, and to enhance the role of the Humanities within universities. These objectives can best be achieved through cooperation and coordination between institutions and a strategic national approach to the future of the Humanities in Israel’.
Over the years, more than 100 proposals were submitted to the Fund and over 20 programmes were founded. These programmes are a welcome reminder of the exciting range of work being carried out through the creativity, dedication and energy of the dozens of participating faculty members from all universities.
The Humanities allow us to reflect on beauty, creativity, and the deep, sustaining truths of history, philosophy, and literature. Furthermore, the faculties of Humanities are charged with the vital task of the preservation and development of Jewish culture in Israel. We will continue to seek ways to support the Humanities, and to enable them to flourish and enrich our cultural lives for many years to come.
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