The humanities in Israel are in a free fall, to judge from a new report by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. In 1984, 23.3% of undergrads studied humanities. Today, it’s 7.7%. In absolute numbers, enrollments in the humanities are also falling. Jewish studies are holding up, but not so the Israel-specific departments. Over the last 20 years, enrollment in Hebrew literature plummeted 74%, Hebrew language dropped 60%, and the history of Israel went down 56%. “Start-up nation” it may be, but when it comes to its own heritage, Israel is becoming the “wind-down nation.”
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