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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Israel State and Society by Hebrew University of Jerusalem

359 ratings

About the Course

Israel is a country that draws a lot of public attention around the globe. Nevertheless, both those who support Israel and those who are critical of its geopolitical standing and policies, usually have a very limited knowledge about the Israeli society and its political system. This course presents Israel from multiple perspectives - political, social, economic and cultural - in an attempt to expose the learners to a cutting edge academic research on the country. Each of the 13 sessions is focused on one aspect of the Israeli society. Every session starts with a general introduction of the issue at hand, hosting one expert or more, who share their most recent studies and insights on that specific field. Every 15 minutes, or so, the students are asked to answer an informative quiz of comprised of a single question. Upon the completion of each class, an online chat will be opened. Students studying for credit are expected to participate in it, ask relevant questions and answer questions about the required readings for this class. Students will graduate from this course with a better understanding of the Israeli society, better knowledge of the Israeli history, politics and economy, and better acquaintance with the varying groups of which the Israeli society is comprised....

Top reviews


Apr 7, 2020

I really loved this course! THanks Coursera, thanks the HEbrew University of Jerusalem for this opportunity. I will keep on learning and hold this diploma as an award! Thanks again!! Diego da Rocha


Jun 30, 2019

well and thorough explanations of important topics that allows us to understand Israel State and Society.

I also didn't find the course biased which is a good thing.

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1 - 25 of 96 Reviews for Israel State and Society

By Aviad D

Oct 22, 2020

This is horrible couse to get a starting point of understanding israel.

The lecturers are very biased and often manipulate the data ,or even lie about the subject matter, so it will fit their left worldview. (The most prominent lie is the portrayal of the Israeli right as those who want to overthrow the rights of Israeli Arabs.)

The subjects in the course are not presented in an honest and balanced way, which is a shame because the course had a lot of potential.

By ammar a

May 30, 2020

It serves Israeli agenda as it tries to justify the Israeli armies actions against civilians in occupied territories.


Jun 11, 2020

I felt this was a disappointing course and was the least enjoyable of the last 9 courses delivered by Yad Yashem, Tel Aviv University, London college, and Hebrew University. The information was delivered IMO in a extreme left approach and was not either political or academically neutral. I don't believe I would intentionally take another course like this if Hebrew University continue to take a specific and biased approach to stud

By Song W (

Nov 19, 2017

My very first course taken in coursera. It has been very heavy on content, but the information is meaningful for a thorough understanding of Israel society. I recommend this course to folks who share an interest in getting to know more about Israel, as well as those who wish to travel to Israel. The course did help me to understand where I am heading towards when I travel to Israel.

By muniba m a

Nov 4, 2020

النظر إلى اسرائيل من زاوية أخرى لكن لن تغير من نظرتنا شيء

By Rizwan A

Oct 3, 2023

i am from Pakistan. here less is available to learn about the Israeli state and society. Israel has been considered an enemy in Pakistan. I would not comment on that but I would surely comment that in Israel, Arab Israelis have been treated with more sympathy than minorities are treated in Pakistan. We should try to understand this phenomenon and how Israel has been able to create a tolerant society that respects all its citizens despite their creed, and religion.

By Betsy D

Jan 19, 2017

Very informative, and engaging, videos. There are however no links to useable reading texts, which is a shame. But the content of the videos are of incredible value.

By Katarina M

Dec 9, 2017

Great, exhaustive course which provides a lot of insight to all those interested in Israel and its culture and society. This course is definitely suitable for the beginners, but also people like me (master in Middle Eastern studies) will greatly benefit from it. Highly recommended!!!

By Carles B

Dec 14, 2020

Each lecture included some interesting facts about Israel and its society. Maybe I miss the perspective from the Plaestine counterpart, but it's a course from the Hebrew University, and I recognize their efforts to give scientific data and approaches. I would recommend this course.


May 28, 2020


By Joy S

Mar 2, 2018

really interesting


Apr 20, 2022

Excellent overview of Israeli culture even if I disagree with the tone of the lecturer who spoke of the IDF & compulsory military service. Her tone seemed to be in sympathy of those young citizens who would rather not have to defend the homeland. As a career soldier & retired veteran, I must strongly disagree with that premise. The majority of veterans that I have met feel strongly the need for cumpulsory national service here in the US. Israel's policy of universal national service is greatly respected in this country.

In that the geopolitical situation in Israel requires a srong standing military, the requirement for cumpulsory national service should not be abandoned. The fact that some of the draftees feel either discriminated against or not utilized to their potential really means nothing in that the military has a heirarchy (chain of command) that must be followed to be effective. New draftees soon turn into new trainees with basic military skills & must prove themselves before they are even promoted thru the rank structure. Their alleged discontent is evidence of their puffed up opinions of themselves. Eighteen year olds think they're smart but they really need to be guided thru their formative years.

In closing, let me also say that it's a citizen's solemn duty to serve their country the best way that they can. Whether in uniform or in some type of civilian national service, service to country ingrains one into fabric of the nation.

By Patrick C

Jul 18, 2020

Over the years I've developed a very strong fascination with the State of Israel. I just find the place incredibly interesting, and so have spent quite a bit of time reading books about Israel, watching documentaries about Israel, keeping up with the English-language feeds of Israeli news outlets. This course provided something that was lacking in all my previous study: a true scholarly examination of the nuances of Israeli society, an exploration of the kinds of things that you're just not going to get from even the most thorough of the sources geared toward popular audiences. It was an excellent survey of the forces shaping contemporary Israeli society, one that anyone interested in the State of Israel will find well worth it to take.

By Andrew S

Feb 14, 2021

I learned a lot from this course and have bookmarked a few books and papers to read in the coming weeks. Prof Frenkel was an able and enthusiastic host and her guest lecturers each showed their passion and scholarship - opening up Israel from multiple perspectives. Sadly Professor Ronny Ellenblum died a few weeks ago - I found his lecture on Jerusalem fascinating.

I would comment that the links to suggested reading could benefit from an update - some could be found through careful searching of the internet - and in many cases their authors have written more recently on the topics. Still highly recommended!

By Jennifer K

Jan 25, 2017

I enjoyed this class to the fullest! It was very organized and user friendly! The lectures were very interesting and well as easy to access actual wording because the transcript was right below the video. As an American I have always been interested by The State of Israel but did not know where to find a concise class that I could afford to take . Thank you for providing this!

By Mohamad M

Jul 1, 2019

well and thorough explanations of important topics that allows us to understand Israel State and Society.

I also didn't find the course biased which is a good thing.

By Ori S

Dec 20, 2019

I came into the class already knowing a lot about Israel from both living in it and books. However, it was great seeing a college level discussion on the topic.

By Sharon G

Jan 18, 2018

Its fascinating and rich. I feel privilege to listen to and learn from these many great minds.

By Mobasher A

Nov 26, 2017

It provide a broad understanding of Israeli-Palestinian/Arab conflict

By Dalia A

Mar 5, 2021

Interesting and very helpful course, thank you.

By Walter M

Dec 28, 2021

I learned a lot, some content seemed biased though, and they presented the Jewish religion in a sense that it was nothing more than traditional and part of their culture, never presenting it as something that is deep and spiritual, something that is their faith in God. It was always viewed as their culture and tradition and so the way they presented it especially made the Ultra-Orthodox Jews seem Old-fashioned, behind the times, and ignorant in terms of the world. That is what I mean by biased.

By Shagaret

Jun 11, 2017

This has been an interesting course for people who like me are curious about the State of Israel. It has been well structured taking us from the beginning of its formation, then through History and finally to all aspects that make up a State. I have learnt some interesting facts as for example how education is organised which interests me since I am a teacher. The lectures have been enjoyable most of them and the quality of them outstanding.

By Thomas C

Dec 6, 2016

The first time to learn about Zionist being is the most appreciating one. This course is well structured in terms of represented scientific approaches, both offering a prospective and retroperspective view's to the learner and choice of historical intensity thereby not missing actual relevance's and sociological transformation into formal analysis of facts and tendencies. It should be said, that's up to the passion of the learner to set scale

By Zachary P S

Mar 31, 2021

This course revealed a history of a nation and the many historic challenges to all the inhabitants of the land both in the past and present. It provided a unique look and understanding of the culture, religions and people as well as the governing principles of the nation. I am now better equipped to understand both the influence and the place Jerusalem and the Nation of Israel inhibit in a unfriendly neighborhood and uninformed world.

By Suat Ş

May 8, 2022

Jews are the autochthon people of Middle East and Kurdistan geography. The existence of Israel State and Jews are so precious and dateless that they deserve be discovered at any time. They are the most democratic country of the Middle East and their existence and non-stop struggle is a possible guiding light for the Kurds. My interest in Israel State and Society is growing bigger and bigger day by day.