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Penn Law signs MOU with Hebrew University of Jerusalem

April 18, 2019

The University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Faculty of Law at Hebrew University of Jerusalem have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will enable students and faculty from both institutions to benefit from unique academic opportunities in the United States and Israel. The Academic Exchange Agreement, signed by Ted Ruger, Dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law at Penn Law, Barak Medina, Rector of Hebrew University, and Michael Karayanni SJD ’03, Dean of Hebrew University’s Faculty of Law, enables faculty exchanges, student exchanges, and collaborative scholarly opportunities between the two universities.

Every year, both Penn Law and HUJI may nominate up to two law students to enroll at the partner institution. The exchange program will offer Penn Law 2Ls and 3Ls a unique opportunity to spend a semester studying at Israel’s premier university. There, they will learn from scholars who are experts in Israeli law, comparative legal studies, public international law, religion and state and more, gaining invaluable exposure to a range of perspectives and legal thought.

The faculty exchange component of the program will permit faculty members of Penn Law and HUJI to teach as Visiting Professors at the partner institution. In addition to the exchange program, faculty and students from both Penn Law and HUJI will be encouraged to collaborate in scholarly efforts such as joint research and writing or organization of workshops and conferences.

“This agreement offers Penn Law and HUJI students and faculty a unique opportunity to study law from different perspectives and engage in scholarly collaboration that will enrich their academic lives and yield important insights,” said Ruger. “I am particularly pleased to be working on this project with one of our own alumni, Michael Karayanni, who leads the HUJI Faculty of Law and retains a strong connection to Penn Law.” 

“We are excited to provide Penn Law and HUJI students and faculty the chance to engage in cross-cultural and comparative law study and research,” said Medina. “We are certain that this exchange program will enrich students and scholars from both institutions. Gaining an international experience, learning of different legal systems and the opportunity to meaningfully engage with people from various cultural background is an essential element of modern academic education.”

The development of the exchange program was coordinated by Professor Eric Feldman, Deputy Dean for International Programs at Penn Law, and Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Penn Law’s Associate Dean for International Programs.

“Penn Law has a number of important partnerships with leading law schools in Europe and Asia, but this is our first agreement with a law school in the Middle East,” said Feldman. “The dynamic legal environment in that region is of tremendous interest and importance to our students, and there is no better place for them to be educated about it than at Hebrew University.”

In addition to its partnership with HUJI, Penn Law offers opportunities for study abroad at the London School of Economics, Hong Kong University, Waseda, Tsinghua, Sciences Po and ESADE, providing students who choose this path a deeper knowledge of foreign and comparative law.

HUJI is one of the leading universities in the world, and its Faculty of Law is the flagship of legal research and education in Israel. Members of the law faculty are internationally renowned scholars, teachers, and practitioners, many of whom have held positions within the leadership of the Israeli legal system.

Penn Law traces its history to 1790 when James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, framer of the Constitution, and member of the first U.S. Supreme Court, delivered first lectures in law at what is now the University of Pennsylvania to President George Washington and members of his Cabinet. Today the hallmarks of the Penn Law experience are a cross-disciplinary, globally-focused legal education, and vibrant intellectual community. Penn Law prepares graduates to navigate an increasingly complex world as leaders and influential decision-makers in the law and related fields.