Summer Programs

ELLS Summer School


The Use of Sources of Water for Irrigation: Case Study in the Middle East

25 June - 07 July 2017




In view of the increasing shortage of drinking water in the Middle East, future increases in agricultural production will rely more and more on new water resources for irrigation. These include desalinated seawater and reclaimed (treated) wastewater. Water management is a major topic of research in several departments of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment and in other institutions in Israel. Irrigation with various types of water and its effect on crop production, soil properties and human health will be the subjects of a Summer School June: 27 and July 7, 2016.

The course will introduce the students to the legal and technical aspects of water treatments and their use in agriculture, effect on soil, crop yield and physiology, as well as on potential hazards to human health. The participation of partners from the ELLS Environment Science Group as well as researchers from Jordan and the Palestinian Authority will broaden the scope of the course. The course topics will include a series of lectures, discussions with experts, and technical excursions.

Brochure and Application Forms (2017 forms are not available yet)


Course contents

The course will include the following topics:
1) Lectures
  • Water management and crop irrigation in Israel
  • Economics of non-conventional water irrigation
  • The soil-water-plant continuum
  • Water recycling, effects of water quality on crops
  • Plant physiology under water stress
  • Genetics of water stress in crops
  • Irrigation with treated wastewater in Jordan and in the Palestinian Authority
  • The politics of water in the Middle East
  • Water-related research and implementation projects at the Faculty of Agriculture
 2) Technical visits
  • Ministry of Agriculture, extension services
  • Desalinization plant (Ashkelon)
  • Dan regional wastewater treatment plant
  • Irrigation with treated wastewater at the Lachish Experimental Farm
  • Jerusalem water system from Antiquity to nowadays
 3) E-learning
A website of the course will be created, which will serve as an interactive platform where students and mentors will be able to dialogue and exchange views before course and for the preparation of the final guided project.
4) Final guided project
Students will choose a mentor and a topics among topics of lectures and will be assigned a mentor from a list prepared in advanced. The mentor will guide the student in his/her assignment (literature search, discussions by electronic means) to be accomplished during the months preceding the course.




Day 1: Organizational procedures: registration, lodging, tour on campus, get-together.

Day 2: Welcome address. Lecture series: 1) Water security. 2) Economics of non-conventional water irrigation; crop irrigation.

Day 3: Technical visits. Lachish Experimental Farm and Ashkelon desalinization plant.

Day 4: Lecture series: 3) Relation soil-water-plant. 4) Water recycling, effects of recycled water on crops

Day 5: Lecture series: 5) Plant physiology under water stress. 6) Genetics of water stress in crops.

Day 6: Excursion to Jerusalem; visit of the town antique water system.

Day 7: Lecture series: 7) Irrigation with treated wastewater in Jordan and in the Palestinian Authority. 8) The politics of water in the Middle East.

Day 8 Lecture series: 9) Current water-related research projects at the Faculty of Agriculture

Day 9 & Day 10: Presentation of guided projects by students (prepared before the course), discussion with panel of experts

Day 11: Dispersion


Credits: 7.5 ECTS

Language: English

Application: Please fill in the application form and send it to Prof. Hanokh Czosnek, at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture Food and Environment, Rehovot, Israel

Deadline for application: March 15, 2016 or until places are filled

Information: During the online phase at home, participants will have access to recommended literature for course preparation

Course format: Mix of lectures, technical visits, guided projects and excursions

Level: The course is aimed at students of biology, water and soil and agricultural sciences or related subjects who have already passed university elementary courses of at least 2 years.

Social Program: Welcome and farewell party. Visit of Jerusalem and the ancient water system of the city.

Medical insurance: Compulsory (can be purchased on site € 1.5 per day).

Visa: Students, which are nationals of the ELLS participating countries, do not need a visa to Israel. Otherwise see site of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs to see whether you need a visa

Location: The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture Food and Environment, Rehovot, Israel

Accommodation: Reisfeld Residence, located on the Faculty campus

Costs: Housing: € 40 per night. Travel expenses and food are not included. Stipends are available to cover part of the costs. Registration is binding after payment of fees.


Contacts for academic questions:

Prof. Hanokh Czosnek- Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture
The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture Food and Environment, Rehovot 7610001, Israel
Phone: +972-8-9489249,  Fax: +972-8-9489899,  E-Mail:

Prof. Benny Chefetz- Dean of Soil & Water Sciences
The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture Food and Environment, Rehovot 7610001, Israel
Phone: +972-8-9489384,  Fax: +972-8-9475181,  E-Mail:

Coordination and technical questions:

Ms. Noa Schwarzwald, The International School of Agricultural Sciences
The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture Food and Environment, Rehovot 7610001, Israel. Tel: +972-50-7177587; E-mail:




Summer Program in Agricultural Sciences

July 10 - August 09, 2017

70 Academic hours - 5 Credits 

Summer school2

Visiting students are invited to study two advanced agricultural science courses in a special summer program at the Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food & Environment, Rehovot campus. The program is taught by Faculty researchers. The teaching method includes classroom instruction, hands-on practice and professional field trips to relevant locations to observe practical applications.

  • Effluents – Reclamation, irrigation and environmental implication
    3 credits

Students will learn about agricultural and environmental aspects of irrigation with treated waste water: waste water sources and treatment; water quality parameters; methods of treatment; health, organizational and regulatory aspects; the effect of treated waste water quality on soils and crops; technological aspects of the use of treated waste water; trends in waste water
characteristics and the implications of its use and impact on agriculture and the environment.

  • Effects of biotic and abiotic stresses on agricultural crops
    2 credits

Students will be exposed to the latest discoveries published in the professional literature. Students will work as a group and discussions will take place as a round table. They will review and evaluate the current journals in the field of plant science and critically analyze papers considered as break-through in a specific area. They will discuss the experiments described, the methods and conclusions.

Brochure and Application Forms