About Hebrew Studies
Hebrew is considered by millions of people to be a sacred, sometime magical language. It is one of the oldest languages spoken today, and a pillar of Classical and Modern Western Culture. At the same time, Hebrew is a gateway to the culture, the media and the politics of the Middle East. In addition, Hebrew is an important component in the study of translation, beginning with the translation of the Bible and ending with Shakespeare’s The Merchant Venice. Hebrew speakers are often recruited by government agencies and other organizations, and Hebrew scholars are often sought after by departments of Religion, Literature, Political Science, Anthropology and Translation Studies. The Hebrew track offers a diverse program that will lead you from the Hebrew alphabet into contemporary Israeli and Jewish Culture:
- Our courses in Hebrew Language in Israeli culture will teach you about Israel, its culture, history, literature and society.
- Our courses in Translation will teach you about the history of Jewish letters as well as the politics of the Middle East and their reflection in printed and electronic media.
- Our courses on the scriptures will present you with tools for reading the Bible, as well as for understanding the role of the scriptures in modern Israeli life.
- Our courses in Yiddish and about the Jewish Diaspora and the Holocaust will provide a gateway to understanding Jewish life in Eastern Europe, and provide an important component of Slavic and East European Studies.
The Hebrew track is also privileged to offer its students the Annual Gary Gerson Scholarship for excellence in second year courses in Hebrew and in Yiddish.
Fall 2015 Courses Offerings
*IDH3931: (Un)common Reading: “Crazy Love and the Bible – A reading of the Song of Songs.”
This course will explore the most passionate and sometime erotic book in the bible, a parable about the love of God and the magnitude of the human spirit. The course will include a reading of the song, some phrases from the song in the original Hebrew, and some literary and musical adaptations and references to the Song of Songs.
*HBR 1130 – Beginning Modern Hebrew I (and II)
This is a first year elementary course in Modern Hebrew. The purpose of this course is to give you a solid background in Modern Hebrew that you will be able to use in pursuing further goals.s To do so, we will work on four basic skills: Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening in Hebrew.
*HBR 2220 – Intermediate Modern Hebrew I (and II)
More than the fundamentals of Hebrew grammar – which are certainly a part of the course – you will be encouraged to define your own unique grasp and approach of the language. The course will try to offer a variety of activities: written and oral exercises, personal projects and presentations, music, games and videos – so that you might all excel in different tasks and acquire a variety of skills.
*HBR3410 – Advanced Modern Hebrew I
The course will consist of various activities that will be developed in consultation with the students during the beginning of the semester. Our classes will consist mainly of discussion, based on texts that are chosen by the students and responded to by their peers. We will also be reading short literary texts and engage in other activities such as writing short stories, translating short texts, watching television from Israel and playing electronic games in Hebrew.
*HBR4930 – Hebrew Translation for Political Communication
Hebrew translation has been volatile, provocative and controversial already since 1536, when William Tyndale was executed for his translation of the Bible. In the context of the Middle East and global communication, this course will use theory in translation, media and culture to discuss the ways in which the seemingly neutral act of translation serves as a highly contested vehicle for communication (and miscommunication) in Israel and the Middle East.
Academic Learning Compact