Hebrew is sometimes called the holy language (leshon hakodesh), since it is the original language of the Hebrew Bible. Today, it is also a modern spoken language and the official language of the state of Israel. The study of Hebrew confers many benefits, including the ability to function in and understand modern Israeli society, and a more nuanced comprehension of ancient texts. Franklin & Marshall offers three years of Hebrew language instruction as part of the Judaic Studies minor (see Judaic Studies), an Area Studies minor, or to fulfill the College’s general language requirement. Hebrew classes are designed not only to develop listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills, but also to emphasize appreciation for the culture and history connected with the language. The Judaic Studies program strongly encourages further study of Hebrew abroad; students have pursued advanced studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of the Negev in Beer Sheva.
An Area Studies minor in Hebrew Language and Literature consists of six courses, including up to four courses in Hebrew language, and at least two 300-level courses in Hebrew literature or Judaic Studies.
A list of regularly offered courses follows. Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement.
COURSES IN MODERN HEBREW LANGUAGE
101, 102. Elementary Modern Hebrew I and II.
Introduction to the basic structures and vocabulary of Modern Hebrew, oral and written. 101 is offered every Fall, 102 is offered every Spring.
201, 202. Intermediate Modern Hebrew I and II. (LS) (NW)
(H for 202)
Further development of oral, reading and writing skills in Modern Hebrew. 201 is offered every Fall, 202 is offered every Spring.
301. Reading Hebrew Texts and Contexts. (H)
In addition to expanding their knowledge of Hebrew grammar through the study of more complex structures, students in this course will read contemporary fiction in its historical and socio-cultural context. In particular, the course will examine the interplay between Hebrew literature and life in Israel in the work of such authors as Savyon Liebercht, Etgar Keret, Meir Shalev, and Avigdor Dagan. Course topics will include literary representations of the Israeli landscape, the tension between Israel and the diaspora, and the development of Post-Zionist literary sensibilities.
Courses Expected to be Offered in 2018-2019
- Hebrew Poetry in Music
- Hebrew through Media and Films
Directed readings at more advanced levels may be arranged with Hebrew Language faculty.