Summer 2012

Sao Paulo University Students Learn About Israeli Society in Spanish

The Open University of Israel and Sao Paulo University have collaborated to develop a new video course in Spanish about Israeli society from a sociological point of view. With the success of the recent pilot program, consideration is being given to expanding the course itself, as well as extending its reach to include other Latin American Universities.

For the first time ever, students at Sao Paulo University were able to enroll in a course on Israeli society, entitled "Trends in Israeli Society" which covered the concept of Zionism, immigration to Israel, the development of the State from cultural, economic and political perspectives, and more.

The course, developed in close cooperation with Sao Paulo University and the Open University's Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication, coordinated and taught by Dr. Zeev Rosenhek, head of the Department, consists of 12 videotaped lectures (all in Spanish.)

Dr. Zeev Rosenhek, Chairman of the Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication, was born in Buenos Aries, Argentina. A native Spanish speaker, Dr. Rosenhek developed the pilot program for Sao Paolo University and was the key lecturer.
Contact between the two universities grew out of the Open University's five-year Globalization Project, which seeks to interest universities around the world in a number of 'added value' courses which the Open University offers. Included under this banner are courses on Judaism, Israel, Genocide and Jewish Secular Identity. The latter two courses will be translated into Spanish.

"Trends in Israeli Society" was offered as an enrichment course during the initial pilot stage. In light of the course's success, Sao Paulo University plans on integrating the course as part of their academic program.

Dr. Zeev Rosenhek recently visited Sao Paulo University and had an opportunity to meet with the students. "I was impressed with their ability, interest and active participation in the course."

In addition to approaching other Latin American universities, the Open University intends to enrich the "Trends in Israeli Society" curriculum with other materials to be offered by the local lecturer.