Hebrew Language Courses

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Hebrew Language Courses at PSU

Learning the Hebrew language will open you to the complexities of a culture that is as passionate about art, media, and technology as it is about history and archaeology.  Modern Hebrew is a language that is written in the same alphabet as the Hebrew Bible, and uses mostly the same words and grammatical structures, but oftentimes with different meanings.  How does Modern Hebrew maintain continuity with an ancient language and yet stay viable in the realities of the 21st century?  By using grammar creatively and coining new vocabulary to express modern concepts.  The result is a language that is poetic, multi-layered, dynamic, and expressive.

Learning a new language is so valuable because any language and every language is full of metaphors. Metaphors enrich your view of life and help you understand the thinking patterns of people from other cultures.

- Laureen Nussbaum, PSU Professor Emerita, World Languages and Literatures

The renaissance of the Hebrew language is one of the greatest cultural rebirths in recent history. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, 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 gives you 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 and Israeli culture. From the Bible to the internet, from Tsarist 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.

Please visit the Department of World Languages and Literatures for more information about the Hebrew Language program.

 

Israeli fruit stand

HEB 201, 202, 203 | Second-Year Hebrew
INSTRUCTORS: Moshe Rachmuth or Sharon Erez-Shai

 

Second-year Hebrew emphasizes modern media Hebrew. Translation and writing. Recommended prerequisite: Heb 103. For non-native speakers of Hebrew only. Courses taught in a sequence of three: HEB 201, HEB 202, HEB 203. 

magazine cover in Hebrew

HEB  301, 302, 303 | Third-Year Hebrew
INSTRUCTOR: Moshe Rachmuth or Sharon Erez-Shai

 

Third-year Hebrew emphasizes modern media Hebrew. Translation and writing. Recommended prerequisite: Heb 203. For non-native speakers of Hebrew only. Courses taught in a sequence of three: HEB 301, HEB 302, HEB 303.