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    J-Term Study Abroad Program in Jerusalem: Dec. 30, 2013-Jan. 9, 2014

    ABA-Approved J-Term Study-Abroad

    2013-14 Application (PDF)
    2013-14 Student Waiver (PDF)
    2013-14 Syllabus (PDF)

    Program Overview

    Israel is a religiously, politically, and culturally diverse society searching for both traditional and new methods for resolving disputes that arise among individuals and communities. Studying law and conflict resolution in Jerusalem provides students with a unique opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on the interaction of law and religion while challenging their assumptions and preconceptions. Students will explore traditional dispute resolution methods such as Jewish Beth Din, Christian and Muslim courts, and Palestinian sulha. They will consider how Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious traditions have shaped dispute resolution values and the ways in which modern methods have been adapted to the cultures within Israel to resolve the major conflicts facing Israeli society today. Students will also have the opportunity to meet with individuals involved in the peacemaking process in Jerusalem.

    Students earn 2 credits (a third credit may be earned with submission of a written paper).

    Jerusalem Program Faculty

    Hana Bendcowsky is the program director of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations and a native of Jerusalem. She has over 14 years of practical experience in interfaith activities in Israel and is in charge (in coordination with the director-general and the program director for Galilee) of overseeing the daily running of JCJCR's diverse educational programs and encounter groups. Ms. Bendcowsky also contributes to the preparation of educational materials in Hebrew and teaches in the center's various educational programs. In addition to her position with JCJCR, she works as a free lance tour educator in Jerusalem for groups involving over 1,500 individuals a year, primarily study tours in the Christian Quarter. Ms. Bendcowsky has her MA in comparative religion from Hebrew University.

    Marc Gopin is the James H. Laue Professor of Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, and the director of the Center on Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Gopin has lectured on conflict resolution in Switzerland, Ireland, India, Italy, and Israel, as well as at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, and numerous other academic institutions. Gopin has trained thousands of people worldwide in peacemaking strategies for complex conflicts in which religion and culture play a role. He conducts research on values dilemmas as they apply to international problems of globalization, clash of cultures, development, social justice and conflict. Gopin's research is found in numerous book chapters and journal articles, and he is the author of Between Eden and Armageddon: The Future of World Religions, Violence and Peacemaking (Oxford University Press, 2000); Holy War, Holy Peace: How Religion Can Bring Peace to the Middle East (Oxford University Press, 2002), a study on what was missing from the Oslo Process, and what will be necessary culturally for a successful Arab/Israeli peace process; Healing the Heart of Conflict (Rodale Press, 2004); and To Make the Earth Whole: The Art of Citizen Diplomacy in an Age of Religious Militancy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008). Dr. Gopin was ordained as a rabbi at Yeshiva University in 1983 and received a PhD in religious ethics from Brandeis University in 1993.

    Qadi Ahmad Natour is president of the High Sharia'a Court of Appeal in Israel. In addition to teaching in the Hamline-Nebrew University program, Qadi Natour is on the faculties of Tel Aviv University and American University in Washington, D.C. Qadi Natour was the first Muslim to receive an Interfaith Gold Medallion Award from the International Council of Christians and Jews. He has used alternative dispute resolution techniques to resolve disputes when appropriate, even in the High Sharia'a Court of Appeal. Qadi Natour will teach the Islamic traditions for conflict resolution.

    Daniel Sinclair is Wolff Fellow in Jewish law and visiting professor of law at Fordham University Law School. He is also professor of Jewish Law and Comparative Biomedical Law at the Law School of the CMAS Law School, Rishon Lezion, and adjunct professor of Comparative Biomedical Law at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Professor Sinclair has published extensively in the fields of comparative biomedical law, Jewish law, the jurisprudence of Jewish law and the relationship between halakhah and ethics and the influence of Jewish law on the legal system of the State of Israel. Professor Sinclair is an ordained Orthodox rabbi and has served as the rabbi of the Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation and as Dean of Jews' College, London and the Rabbinical School in London. Professor Sinclair will teach the session on Jewish traditions.

    Michael Tsur is a lawyer, and an expert in negotiation, conflict resolution, crisis management and mediation. He specializes in executive coaching of general managers, general directors and owners of companies in Israel and around the globe, working in particular on how to navigate complex negotiations and situations. Mr. Tsur is the founder and general-director of the Mediation & Conflict Resolution Institute-Jerusalem. Since 2000, he has been an associate director at Consensus, a New York-based consultancy specializing in negotiation, conflict resolution and peace-building. Mr. Tsur has garnered years of expertise in resolving emergency situations, ranging from hostage crises to breakdowns in cross-national business negotiations to stand-offs with individuals who are mentally unstable. Since 2000, Mr. Tsur has been a member of the Israel Defense Forces Hostage negotiation unit as one of a small group of select professional negotiators.

    Program Administration

    Dispute Resolution Institute Director and Hamline University School of Law Professor Sharon Press is the on-site faculty director for the Jerusalem program. There will be additional on-site administrative support from the Rothberg Center of Hebrew University throughout the program.

    Student Representation

    In 2013, 23 students enrolled in the program, including students from four U.S. law schools, four Australian students, and two others. In the past, practicing lawyers, clergy, writers and journalists have joined the group. For 2014, we anticipate a similar mix of participants.

    Student Perspectives on Past Jerusalem Programs

    "The program was extremely interesting, challenging and full of brilliant lectures. I loved the depth of knowledge that these individuals had." - Participant, January 2013

    “I really enjoyed the organization and overall topics covered in the class. I also felt that there was a great balance between student involvement and lecturing. The depth and breadth of the class appropriately presented issues objectively and fairly while encouraging deep analysis of religious conflict.” - Participant, January 2011

    "It exceeded my expectations. I found the overwhelming majority of the speakers to be thought provoking, well-versed, and well-prepared. The accommodations, trips and guidance were thoughtful." - Participant, January 2010

    "I thought I would learn about conflict but not at this level. The expertise of the teachers was outstanding. It was not hearsay. It was all from practitioners who had learned professionally and knew their subjects practically. I was very, very impressed and go back a changed person from the heart and mind towards conflict resolution and people in general." - Participant, January 2007

    "This program went beyond my expectations which were already set very high. I wanted to understand, from my own perspective and observations, the conflict in the Middle East. I've understood that it can't be simplified and attempts at breaking it down into rational issues don't contemplate the many layers of complexity and identity. This is a life-learning experience that I am valuing very highly." - Participant, January 2006

    "The course was truly excellent, and it exceeded my expectations substantially. I found all of the lecturers to be extremely engaging and able to be both critical and, at the same time, involved in the conflicts studied. The discussions of practical application of conflict resolution theory and personal experience were particularly engaging and well done." - Participant, January 2006

    "I would recommend this program without reservation. It has been one of the best educational experiences I've had. It's given me an entirely new perspective on the complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Traveling to Israel for this course was absolutely the ideal situation to travel to the Holy Land because unlike a religious pilgrimage, it stressed Jerusalem's significance for Muslims, Jews & Christians." - Participant, January 2005


    The program is open to degree-candidate law students who have completed their first year of study at an ABA-accredited law school, lawyers seeking continuing legal education credits, graduate students, members of the clergy, and divinity students. Applicants must complete the application form and return it with a nonrefundable $250 application fee.

    Students from schools other than Hamline University School of Law must provide a letter of good standing from the dean or registrar of their home school if they want to receive credit for the program. If financial aid is to be used, a consortium agreement must be initiated by the home school of non-Hamline students to assure a proper transfer of funding.

    Enrollment is limited to 30 participants in order to enhance the interactive nature of each course. Qualified students are accepted on a first-applied, first-enrolled basis.

    This course of study is ABA-approved. Application Deadline: November 11, 2013

    2013-14 Application (PDF)
    2013-14 Student Waiver (PDF)


    Tuition: $1230 per credit (for 2 or 3 credits)

    Non-law student tuition (not seeking transferable credits): $1300

    Non-refundable application fee: $250

    Program fees: $1300 (includes Hebrew University housing fees from December 29, 2013 to January 9, 2014; fees for class tours, programs and health insurance; and a $250 non-refundable program application fee.)

    Total: $3760 (2 credits); $4990 (3 credits); $2600 (0 credit)

    The non-refundable application fee of $250 is payable with the submission of the application form. The remaining balance of $3510 (2 credits); $4740 (3 credits); $ 2350 (0 credits); is due on or before November 29, 2013.

    Students seeking financial aid who have submitted a completed consortium agreement will not be required to submit the tuition/fees balance until their loans become available. Should a student withdraw from the program before November 29, 2013, tuition and fees will be refunded. A student who withdraws from the program after November 29, 2013 is liable for full tuition and fees. The $250 application fee is non-refundable.

    Planning a Program Budget

    Estimated program costs:
    Application Fee: $250
    Tuition: $2460 (2 credits); $3690 (3 credits); $1300 (0 credit)
    Fees: $1300
    Airfare: $1500
    Airfare from the U.S. to Israel is approximately $1500. Please note this is an average and can be more or less depending on the carrier and timing of ticket purchase.
    Miscellaneous expenses: $400-600
    Miscellaneous expenses include local travel, meals, personal expenses, etc.; this will vary depending on your spending habit. Breakfast is provided with housing.
    Students are responsible for international airfare, meals, transportation within Israel, and personal expenses.


    Should a student withdraw from the program before November 29, 2013, tuition and fees will be refunded. All tuition and fees are non-refundable after November 29, 2013. The $250 application fee is non-refundable.

    International Travel

    International and intra-Israel travel is the responsibility of individual students. Hamline University School of Law has no legal responsibility for such arrangements. Students must arrive in Jerusalem no later than December 29, 2013. Housing is available to students starting the afternoon of December 29 and must be vacated the morning of January 9, 2014.

    Airfares can vary greatly. Students are encouraged to make their travel plans early to take advantage of advance purchase options. Students should consult a good travel agent or visit a reputable website to obtain discount fares.,, or usually have the lowest fares on most major airlines. There are sites that offer consolidator prices which are non-advertised fares ( Additionally, there are sites that offer student discounts ( &

    Your airport of arrival in Israel: Ben Gurion International Airport (Lod, Tel Aviv)

    Passports and Visas

    Passports are required for travel to Israel and are the responsibility of each student. Contact the nearest State Department Office or Post Office for further information. Plan ahead and get your passport early!

    U.S. citizens are not required to present a visa upon entrance into Israel for a short course of study. However, you may be asked to present your letter of acceptance to the program, along with your round trip ticket, to customs officials upon arrival.

    If you are a national of a country that Israel defines as a visa national country, you may require prior entry clearance. The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website has more information on visas. Students in need of prior entry clearance are responsible for applying for their own visas.

    Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate space in the event that you lose the original.

    If your passport is lost or stolen, you must go to the U.S. Embassy to get a replacement. This is inconvenient, but necessary. Without a passport, the airlines will not allow you to board an aircraft for your return flight to the U.S.

    The United States Embassy, Jerusalem
    14 David Flusser
    Jerusalem 93392
    Phone: 02-630-4000 M-F 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Emergency: 02-622-7240 (outside of regular office hours)
    Website: Consulate General of the United States - Lost or Stolen Passports

    Course Requirements

    Students must attend all class sessions, participate actively, and complete the reading assignments. At the conclusion of the course, students seeking credits must complete the exam. To earn a third credit, law students will have to complete a written paper within three weeks after the course ends. Grades will be based upon class participation and the preparation of the written work. There are no prerequisites for this course and there is no mandatory grading curve. The acceptance of any credit or grade for these courses by any school other than Hamline is subject to approval by the student’s home school.

    It is unlikely that participation in a foreign program may be used to accelerate graduation. Students interested in acceleration should seek clarification at their home schools in light of ABA Standard 304, Interpretation 304-4.


    Class meets in a classroom on the Mount Scopus Campus of Hebrew University, starting Monday, December 30, 2013. Administrative offices for the program are in the Boyer Building of the Rothberg International School. Hamline and the Rothberg International School of Hebrew University have cooperated in providing this program since its inception as a summer program in 1994. The city of Jerusalem and the facilities at Hebrew University are accessible to individuals with disabilities.


    Housing in double rooms is included in the fees. Students will be housed at the Maiersdorf Faculty Club on the Hebrew University campus ( The accommodations include a private bath and breakfast. Housing will be available from December 29, 2013 until January 9, 2014. The final exam will be completed before noon on January 9. People arriving prior to December 29 or staying after January 9 will need to make other arrangements for housing. Students who do not wish to stay in housing should contact the Program Administrator about housing alternatives. For those people interested in pursuing other options, several websites offer housing information: or Students not staying in the housing provided will receive a reimbursement of the portion of the fees that goes toward housing.


    Jerusalem offers a wide variety of dining opportunities and price ranges. Food is available at the cafeterias on the Hebrew University campus. The nearby Dan Jerusalem Hotel remains open during Shabbat.

    Program Cancellation

    Hamline University School of Law reserves the right to alter or cancel the J-term Study Abroad Program for insufficient enrollment or if exceptional circumstances such as natural disaster, war, political unrest, or similar emergency occurs. The program may be cancelled if fewer than 15 students enroll or Hamline determines the safety and security concerns in the area are not conducive to the program. Hamline University School of Law’s Jerusalem program was cancelled in 2001 and 2002 due to political unrest in the area and low enrollment. It was not held in 2003. It was then reconfigured into the current program and has operated successfully for the past nine years. Cancellation or material alteration will be promptly communicated to applicants.

    In the event of program cancellation, all tuition and fees will be refunded. If a student requests, the director will use best efforts to make arrangements for the student to attend a similar program. In the event of material program alteration, any student wishing to cancel must send a letter of declaration within seven days of notification to request a full refund of tuition and fees. All money advanced by the student will be refunded within 20 days after the date of cancellation/receipt of student declaration. Hamline will not provide refunds for enrolled students who choose not to participate unless the program is cancelled or there is substantial change to the current travel warning.


    Health Insurance is included in the program fees.

    Jerusalem Travel Information

    As of the most recent update of the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs website (December 20, 2012), the United States Department of State has a current travel warning for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. The security environment remains complex in Israel and the West Bank, and U.S. citizens need to be aware of the continuing risks of travel to these areas, particularly to areas described in this travel warning, where there are heightened tensions and security risks. The Department of State strongly warns U.S. citizens against travel to the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, it cautions them that, with the exception of Jericho and Bethlehem, personal travel to the West Bank by U.S. Government employees is prohibited. This replaces the Travel Warning issued August 10, 2012, to update information on the general security environment. Over three million foreign citizens, including hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens, safely visit Israel and the West Bank each year for study, tourism, and business.

    Each participant should carefully assess the State Department advisory and caution prior to enrollment. Each student must individually choose whether to undertake the risk of travel to the region and by enrolling agrees to assume all liability associated with the travel risk.

    Also prior to travel, participants should check out the CDC Health Information for Travel to Israel website for pertinent health information.

    ATM Machines

    Many foreign banks will allow you to withdraw money from ATM machines with a credit card or cash card. Visa and MasterCard are the most common credit/cash cards, followed by American Express. Most banks in larger cities are connected to an international money network, usually CIRRUS (another international money network is plus). If you are carrying more than one credit/debit card, it is best to carry one from the Cirrus network and one from the Plus network; most cash machines will honor one or the other, but not necessarily both. The network in indicated on the back of your credit/debit card. NOTE: It is a good idea to obtain the international phone number for your credit card so you can notify the issuing company in case it gets lost or stolen.


    The currency is the Israeli New Shekel. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels, however better exchange rates are likely to be found via ATM machines or at banks. Travelers cheques are accepted in all areas frequented by tourists.


    The weather in Jerusalem is very unpredictable. During the 2012-13 program, students experienced days with temperatures in the mid-60s the first week, followed by cold, rainy days and several inches of snow. The average temperature is 43°F to 55°F, but it is the rainy season. Students should plan accordingly.

    What to Pack

    Travel light! Students can dress casually for class but you will need to bring appropriate attire for visits to religious sites. Luggage requirements for all airlines have become very strict. You should check with your particular airline regarding its luggage restrictions. All airlines are strictly enforcing luggage rules; penalties for oversized or overweight luggage can be steep. Be warned that airlines have the authority to refuse to carry luggage that does not meet their regulations.

    Non-discrimination Policy

    Please note: Hamline University School of law does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status in its education and employment programs or activities.