History of Jerusalem (Zoom Course)



3 Academic Credit Hours (October 10 – December 19, 2023)


Course will be held via Zoom on Tuesdays , 4 – 7 PM Israel Time




Course Description

This course is an overview of the history of Jerusalem from the time of the Canaanites until the 20th century.

Course Structure

The lessons will be held through a Zoom format, consisting of lectures and interactive discussions between all participants. There will be 10 three hour (with breaks) live zoom lectures. Recordings will be available to registered students to watch multiple times during the time of the course and for six weeks after it ends. It won’t be possible to download video lectures to personal PC.

We cannot ensure the quality of zoom recordings should technical failures occur. We also cannot guarantee that all parts will be recorded. Therefore, it is NOT possible to register for recordings only. Students need to participate in live lectures.

Course Goals

  1. To learn about the topography of Jerusalem
  2. To understand the physical development of Jerusalem over a 4000-year period
  3. To study the history of the city from the Biblical period until today
  4. To discuss the social and political changes in each period, focusing especially on the relationships between religious groups during each phase.

Learning Outcome

  • Use knowledge of the topography and the history of Jerusalem to understand and interpret the scriptures.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the religious and ethnic groups in Jerusalem throughout the generations.
  • Be able to discuss how the various religious groups have influenced the development of the city.
  • Be able to discuss the social, religious, and political issues in Jerusalem in light of the historical background studied in the course.

Course Dates and Topics :

Date 2023 Lecture Topic
10 Oct. Topography and Historical Overview

Beginnings: Canaanite/Jebusite Periods

First Temple Period

17 Oct. Persian Period

Hellenistic/Hasmonean Period

Herodian Period

24 Oct Jerusalem of the New Testament: Gospels and Acts

Jerusalem in the Mishna

Jerusalem in Josephus

31 Oct No Zoom Class
Jerusalem in the time of the Great Revolt Suggested independent viewing:  Legends of Destruction (animated historical drama)
7 Nov Late Roman


Early Arab

14 Nov Guest Lecturer: TBA

Crusaders, Ayubids and Mamlukes

21 Nov Ottoman Period

Outside the walls: 19th Century

Beginnings of Archaeological Exploration

28 Nov British Mandate

Archaeology under the Mandate

5 Dec War of Independence and the divided city
12 Dec Six Day War and its aftermath

Archaeology in a United Jerusalem

19 Dec Jerusalem in Apocalyptic Literature and Eschatology

Jerusalem since Oslo: Issues in Jerusalem today


Instructor: Dr. Sheila Gyllenberg

Sheila was born in Canada and has lived in Israel since 1983. She holds a master’s degree in Jewish History and a doctorate in Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology from Israel’s Bar Ilan University. In addition to her work as a tour guide, she teaches archaeology, history and biblical geography at Israel College of the Bible, where she heads the college’s department for Israel study tours.





  • Live Lectures via Zoom
  • October 10 – December 19, 2023, Tuesdays , 4 – 7 PM GMT+3 (Israel Time)
  • Language: English

Main Texts

Bahat, Dan. The Illustrated Atlas of Jerusalem. Jerusalem: Carta, 1996.


Course Fees

  • For Personal Enrichment  – $249 USD
  • For Academic Credit  – $750 USD

*These fees do not include required textbooks

**Payment is non-refundable