Polis – The Jerusalem Institute of Languages and Humanities is an academic institution founded in 2011 by an international group of scholars.

Our goal is the renewal of Humanities (especially literature, philosophy, history and geography of the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East) through the study of different cultural aspects and in particular the revival of the languages that are at the foundation of Western civilization.

Our conviction is that learning from the past helps build mutual understanding and respect of different cultures and peoples in the Middle East and in Western Civilization. A dialogue rooted in the respect of every identity generates mutual understanding and long term peace.


The method for teaching ancient languages through full immersion is highly efficient: in the process of learning to speak the students acquire an intuitive understanding of the language.

The interaction between teachers of different languages helps improve their techniques.

The atmosphere, open to every background and religion, is an oasis in a city like Jerusalem which is crossed by many virtual boundaries. Openness to transcendence with respect for every religion and creed is made compatible with all the different religious backgrounds of students and teachers working together at Polis.

These features of Polis identity have created a platform for unrestricted collaboration with local and international institutions.

For many students, the extra value that Polis offers in relation with universities in Europe or United States is simply the appealing experience of living in Jerusalem.


The activity of the institute is divided into 5 correlated categories:


  • Language courses. The institute organizes regular courses in Jerusalem on Ancient and Semitic languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, Ancient Greek, and Latin, and summer courses of ancient languages in United States and Europe. We receive a total of more than 500 students in more than 60 different courses each year.

  • Graduate programs. Polis Institute is currently offering two MA programs and two One-Year Program. Registered students come from several different countries. The MA programs are accredited by 3 European universities.

  • Research Projects. Our three current lines of research  are:

    • Research on second language acquisition which leads to improve techniques for teaching ancient and modern languages.

    • Developing a database about historical and archeological sites.

    • Applying modern technology to presentations of the Holy Sites: the first Multimedia Center supervised by Polis located in Abu Gosh, close to Jerusalem.

  • Interdisciplinary Conferences and Networking.

    • Over the past few years, the Institute organized the following Interdisciplinary conference:  "Origins of the Alphabet" (2013), "The Library of Alexandria" (2015) and "The Cours de Linguistique Générale revisited : 1916-2016" (2016).

    • This has been possible thanks to an extended list of contacts with specialists in each fields. The number of scholars in contact with Polis from universities in Israel and abroad is about 450 and the Institute has signed agreements with 10 universities.

  • Polis Institute Press publishes language textbooks as well as proceedings of conferences that are held at the institute.

8 HaAyin Het St.

9511208 Jerusalem.

Tel: +972 (0)74 7011048

Fax: +972(0)74 7021931