The renaissance of the Hebrew Language is one of the greatest cultural rebirths in recent history. During the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, what had long lain dormant as a largely unspoken liturgical and sacred tongue was revived as a vernacular language of modern life. Today, Hebrew is the language of the State of Israel: its newspapers and poems, pop music and politics, elite culture and street life. Studying Modern Hebrew not only allows one access to the riches of traditional Jewish religious texts from the Bible onward, but also to the fascinating literary and intellectual products of modern Jewish culture in Europe, and Israeli culture in the Middle East. From the Bible to the internet, from Czarist Russia to twenty-first century Tel Aviv, the Hebrew language is a key to knowledge, beauty, and inspiration.
PSU currently offers three years of Modern Hebrew. Majors in Judaic Studies must complete three years of Modern Hebrew (or the equivalent). Students may also use Hebrew to fulfill their general language requirement, as well as the language requirement for International Studies. Thanks to the generosity of the Aspen Mitzvah Fund, we offer scholarships to qualified students taking second or third year Hebrew.