About the society

The Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, is a German Foundation financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Its research facility is situated at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It is aimed at creating a creative, vibrant scholarly environment for outstanding young scholars in all fields of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Scholars from the two countries who have completed their Ph.D. degrees within the last five years are eligible to apply, on the basis of a detailed research proposal, for generous fellowships, initially for a period of two yeas, but renewable for further periods thereafter upon submission of a long-term research project which will be evaluated by the Academic Committee. The Fellows-five from Israel and five from Germany in each annual batch-- are housed at the Hebrew University and work in offices in the beautifully appointed Mandel Building on the Mount Scopus campus. They have the freedom to carry out their research under optimal conditions, and take part in regular activities including a bi-weekly seminars or colloquiums, periodic workshops and conferences, study trips, lectures, and social events. Senior scholars from both countries, are associated with the Society as Senior Fellows and mentors, and a small number of select Ph.D. students are also appointed for one year.

The Society is governed by a binational Kuratorium which meets regularly in Germany and Israel to decide on questions of strategy, budget, and development. All academic activity is overseen by the Academic Committee of seven members representing a wide range of disciplines: Prof. Ruth HaCohen (Pinczower) (Director, Hebrew University), Prof. Maria Mavroudi (University of California), Prof. Joseph Zeira (Hebrew Univesity) , Dr. Zur Shalev (Haifa), Prof. Wolfgang Seibel (University of Konstanz), Prof. Rahel Jaeggi (Humboldt University) and Prof. Michael P. Steinberg (Brown University). The Academic Committee is responsible for selecting the next year's Fellows from among the candidates who have applied.

The Society of Fellows, like similar institutions at Harvard, Konstanz, Princeton, University of Michigan, and elsewhere, is committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and to a strong inter-disciplinary orientation. Our goal is to foster innovative, path-breaking research of broad cultural meaning and relevance and to create a community of scholars who can learn from and inspire one another. Scholars who have acquired a strong basis in their chosen discipline will be encouraged to embark upon broader, imaginative projects and to explore new disciplines and methodologies, thus crossing academic boundaries and challenging ossified conceptions. The primary values that guide us are originality, depth of insight, breadth of vision, cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary curiosity, collegiality, and (of course) solid erudition. The Society is funded by a generous grant from the German government with significant matching from the Hebrew University. The Director is nominated by the President of the Hebrew University and approved by the Kuratorium. The Society maintains close ties with other academic institutions in the two countries, including the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University.