Minerva Center for Human Rights

The Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Law is the preeminent academic center in Israel devoted to human rights research and education. Engaging government, civil society and local and international academia, the Center serves as themost important hub in Israel for practical and theoretical discourse on current local and global human rights dilemmas. 

The Center provides outstanding Hebrew University students with unequaled academic and practical tools necessary for them to fulfill key roles in Israeli society as leaders in public service, as educators and researchers, and as pioneers of social change.

The Minerva Center for Human Rights places great emphasis on developing platforms for collaborations between Israeli students, scholars and practitioners and their international counterparts, in order to generate awareness of, and discourse with, comparative academic reflection, historical experience and cultural perspectives. Partners in recent Minerva projects have included Freie Universität Berlin and Göttingen University in Germany, George Washington University and Georgetown University in the United States, Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, University of Fribourg in Switzerland, McGill University in Canada, European University Institute, National University of Rwanda and others.

Each year the Center brings to Jerusalem dozens of leading international human rights scholars and practitioners to lecture at conferences and symposia or teach intensive courses. In addition, in recent years the Center has initiated projects in which Hebrew University students have participated in conferences, courses and study tours in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Rwanda, Canada and the United States.

The Center's activities include –

  • A fully-funded multidisciplinary international PhD program in human rights with Freie Universität Berlin – the first-ever PhD program in human rights in Israel, and the first joint German-Israeli PhD program (in any field) ever funded by the German Research Foundation. 
  • The only Postdoctoral Fellowships in Israel devoted to human rights research.
  • The only research grants offered to all Israeli scholars engaged in human rights-related research, on a competitive basis, through an annual national call for proposals.
  • TheIsrael Law Review, a leading international journal of human rights, international and public law (published by Cambridge University Press).
  • Numerous international conferences, symposia, guest lectures and workshops each year, on a wide range of current local and global human rights issues.
  • Academic courses, summer schools, internships and international study trips for top Hebrew University students.
  • An ongoing, closed, structured consultation mechanism between government and civil society professionals on pressing domestic human rights dilemmas, under the Center's leadership and auspices.