Hebrew

Last updated: June 19, 2014 at 3:14 p.m.

Objectives

The degree of Master of Arts in Teaching Hebrew is offered to provide teachers and students with the knowledge and training to become teachers of the Hebrew language in all educational frameworks that teach Hebrew. This program emphasizes the different areas that any Hebrew teacher should master to teach in a variety of frameworks. These include the theoretical knowledge of learning and teaching Hebrew, as well as hands-on experience in teaching. This program is the first of its kind in the United States and addresses the urgent need for qualified Hebrew teachers in Jewish education.

Information on the Undergraduate Study of Hebrew

For the undergraduate study of Hebrew Language and Literature, please see Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

How to Be Admitted to the Graduate Program

The general requirements for admission to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, as specified in an earlier section of this Bulletin, apply to candidates for admission to this program.

In addition, applicants must have achieved at least advanced-mid level in Hebrew language, according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) guidelines. Advanced-mid competence is defined as the ability to function successfully and effectively in most formal and informal settings, with ease and accuracy. This ability must be reflected in the four skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension.

Applicants must present two letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose and must be interviewed by the director of the program.

Program of Study
Our two-year program focuses on different skills that we believe professional Hebrew educators should master. Theoretical and methodological learning, as well as hands-on experience and rigorous field training, are emphasized. The curriculum consists of twelve courses and two semesters of practicum training. Seven of the twelve required courses focus exclusively on different aspects of teaching and learning the Hebrew language. Such courses focus on theories of language acquisition, instructional methodologies, curriculum development, development of teaching materials, learner assessment, classroom management, and conducting research. The remaining course requirements include enrichment courses such as biblical texts, modern Hebrew literature, and the history of the Hebrew language, as well as courses that prepare students to teach specifically in Jewish settings.

The practicum training component of the curriculum, which closely accompanies the course work, provides students with an opportunity to practice their teaching, in formal and informal education as well as in different settings such as day schools, afternoon schools, and elementary and high schools.

Faculty

See Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

Requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching Hebrew

Program of Study and Residence Requirement
Ordinarily, two years of full-time residence at a normal rate of work of seven courses each year are required. Successful completion of fourteen courses is required: eight required courses, two semesters of practicum training, and four elective courses (one course from each of the four elective areas listed below).

Required Courses
HBRW 167b (The Revival of Modern Hebrew)
NEJS 101a (Comparative Grammar of Semitic Languages)
HBRW 168a (Proficiency Based Instruction in Hebrew I)
HBRW 168b (Proficiency Based Instruction in Hebrew II)
HBRW 222b (The Role of Jewish Texts in Communal Organizations)
HBRW 303a (Assessing the Learning and Teaching of Hebrew)
HBRW 307a (Curriculum Theory, and Development)
HBRW 309a (Readings on Connection of Language and Identity)

Required Practicum Courses
HBRW 301a (Hebrew II Practicum I)
HBRW 301b (Hebrew II Practicum II)

Elective Courses
Four from the following list of electives:

  • Psychology and Education
    ANTH 61b (Language in American Life), ED 157b (The Psychology of Student Learning), PSYC 130b (Life Span Development: Adulthood and Old Age).
  • Biblical Texts in Hebrew
    HBRW 122a and 122b (Introduction to Classical Hebrew), NEJS 10a (Biblical Hebrew Grammar and Text), NEJS 110b (The Hebrew Bible: Meaning and Context), NEJS 114b (Biblical Ritual, Cult, and Magic), NEJS 115a (The Book of Deuteronomy), NEJS 117b (The Dead Sea Scrolls), NEJS 118b (The Book of Psalms), NEJS 122b (Biblical Narrative Texts: The Historical Tradition), NEJS 208a (Biblical Hebrew Composition), NEJS 210a (Exodus: A Study in Method).
  • Hebrew Literature
    HBRW 123a and 123b (Introduction to Modern Hebrew Literature), HBRW 143a and 143b (An Advanced Survey of Hebrew and Israeli Literature), HBRW 144a (Hebrew Drama), HBRW 146a (Voices of Jerusalem), HBRW 164b (Israeli Theater), NEJS 174a (Reading Israel from the Margins: An Exploration of the Self in Modern Hebrew Literature), NEJS 174b (Line of Resistance: Israeli Women Writers on War and Peace), NEJS 177a (Representing the Holocaust in Hebrew Literature), NEJS 180b ((Re) Imagining Israel: Narrative, Identity, and Zionism in Hebrew Literature).

Courses of Instruction

(1-99) Primarily for Undergraduate Students

HBRW 10a Beginning Hebrew
Four class hours and one additional lab hour per week.
For students with no previous knowledge and those with a minimal background. Intensive training in the basics of Hebrew grammar, listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Several sections will be offered. Usually offered every semester.
Staff

HBRW 19a Beginning Hebrew: Honors
Prerequisite: Hebrew placement exam. Only one 10-level Hebrew course may be taken for credit.
A beginner course for those students with some exposure to Hebrew. Builds upon the initial exposure, continuing to teach the basics of grammar, vocabulary, speaking, and writing. Usually offered every year.
Staff

HBRW 20b Intermediate Hebrew
Prerequisite: HBRW 10a or the equivalent as determined by placement examination. Only one 20-level Hebrew course may be taken for credit. Four class hours and one lab hour per week.
Continuation of HBRW 10a, employing the same methods. Intensive training in Hebrew grammar, listening, comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Several sections offered every semester.
Staff

HBRW 29b Intermediate Hebrew I: Honors
Prerequisite: HBRW 10a or the equivalent as determined by placement examination. Only one 20-level Hebrew course may be taken for credit. Four class hours and one lab hour per week.
This course is designed for honor students who wish to excel in the language. Students are admitted upon recommendation of the director of the Hebrew language program. Usually offered every year in the spring.
Staff

HBRW 34a Intermediate Hebrew II: Aspects of Israeli Culture
[ fl ]
Prerequisite: Any 20-level Hebrew course or the equivalent as determined by placement examination. Two 30-level Hebrew courses may be taken for credit. Four class hours and one lab hour per week.
A continuation of HBRW 20b. An intermediate- to mid-level course that helps students strengthen their skills at this level. Contemporary cultural aspects will be stressed and a variety of materials will be used. Usually offered every semester.
Staff

HBRW 35a Conversation and Writing Skills
[ fl ]
Prerequisite: HBRW 20b or the equivalent as determined by placement examination. This course is recommended for students who have not previously studied Hebrew at Brandeis and have been placed at this level. Four class hours and one lab hour per week.
An intermediate-level course designed to improve the linguistic and writing skills of students who have an extensive background in the language but lack the academic skills to fulfill the language requirements or to pursue a higher level of Hebrew or Judaic studies. Usually offered every year in the fall.
Staff

HBRW 41a Advanced Intermediate Hebrew: Intensive Conversation
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: Any 30-level Hebrew course or the equivalent. Students may take this course and HBRW 44b for credit. Four class hours per week.
For students who have acquired an intermediate knowledge of Hebrew and who wish to develop a greater fluency in conversation. This course does not satisfy the language requirement for the NEJS major or the major in Hebrew. Usually offered every year in the fall.
Staff

HBRW 44b Advanced Intermediate Hebrew: Israeli Culture and Media
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: Any 30-level Hebrew course or the equivalent. Students may not take this course and HBRW 49b for credit. Four class hours per week.
Reinforces the acquired skills of speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing at the intermediate to mid/high level. Contemporary cultural aspects are stressed; conversational Hebrew and reading of selections from modern literature, political essays, and newspaper articles. Required for NEJS majors and Hebrew majors and recommended for others who would like to continue studying Hebrew beyond the foreign language requirement. It is a prerequisite for many upper-level Hebrew courses. Usually offered every semester.
Staff

HBRW 97a Senior Essay
Usually offered every semester.
Staff

HBRW 97b Senior Essay
Usually offered every semester.
Staff

HBRW 98a Independent Study
Usually offered every year in the fall.
Staff

HBRW 98b Independent Study
Signature of the instructor required.
Usually offered every year in the spring.
Staff

HBRW 99a Senior Thesis
Signature of the director required to enroll.
Usually offered every year.
Staff

HBRW 99b Senior Thesis
Signature of the director required to enroll.
Usually offered every year.
Staff

(100-199) For Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students

HBRW 102a Hebrew Reading Proficiency
Prerequisite: Intermediate knowledge of Hebrew reading. Primarily intended for graduate students. Not for credit.
An intermediate- to mid-level course for graduate students interested in strengthening their reading skills. Emphasizes recognition of grammatical structures in the written language and the acquisition of recognition vocabulary. Intended to help students in their research or in preparation for the Hebrew language exam. Usually offered every year.
Staff

HBRW 102b Advanced Reading Proficiency and Comprehension
Prerequisite: HBRW 102a or high-intermediate reading knowledge of Hebrew. Not for credit.
A continuation of HBRW 102a. Different materials and texts are studied. This class is conducted in English. Usually offered every year.
Staff

HBRW 121b Let's converse in Hebrew, II
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: Any 40-level Hebrew course or the equivalent. Four class hours per week.
An intermediate- to mid/high-level conversation course for students who wish to improve their speaking skills before entering more advanced-level courses. Role playing, vocabulary building, and guided speaking activities develop conversational skills for various situations. Reading and discussion of contemporary texts assist in vocabulary building. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Azoulay

HBRW 123a Creative Reading and Writing in Hebrew I
[ fl hum wi ]
Prerequisite: Any 40-level Hebrew course or the equivalent, as determined by the director of the Hebrew language program. Four class hours per week.
An intermediate- to mid/high-level course, which focuses on modern Hebrew prose and poetry stressing major trends. Students are expected to acquire better fluency in reading, writing, and conversation. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Ofengenden

HBRW 123b Creative Reading and Writing in Hebrew II
[ fl hum wi ]
Prerequisite: Any 40-level Hebrew course or its equivalent, as determined by the director of the Hebrew language program. Four class hours per week.
An intermediate- to mid/high-level course that focuses on the representation of the Holocaust and the generational relationships in modern Hebrew prose and poetry. Students are expected to acquire better fluency in reading, writing, and conversation. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Ofengenden

HBRW 141a Advanced Hebrew Conversation
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: Four semesters of Hebrew or permission of the instructor. Four class hours and one additional hour of lab work or speaking practice per week are required.
For advanced students who want to work on accuracy, fluency, and vocabulary building. The course prepares students to become advanced speakers of Hebrew. Reading of contemporary texts and newspaper articles and listening to Israeli videos will serve as a basis for building higher-level speaking proficiency. One additional weekly hour of lab work or speaking practice is required. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Azoulay

HBRW 144a Hebrew through Plays and Drama
[ ca fl hum wi ]
Prerequisite: Four semesters of Hebrew or permission of the instructor. Four class hours and two additional weekly hours of lab work are required.
Helps improve Hebrew language skills at the intermediate-high/advanced-level by focusing on various creative aspects such as improvisations, drama, performance, and other acting techniques such as movement, imagination, and other basic skills necessary to act out scenes from various plays in the Hebrew language. Writing assignments and self-critique enhance the students' skills in language acquisition. The course culminates in the writing of one-act plays in Hebrew along with a theatrical performance and production. Usually offered every year in the fall.
Ms. Azoulay

HBRW 146a The Voices of Jerusalem
[ fl hum wi ]
Prerequisite: Four semesters of Hebrew or permission of the instructor. Four class hours per week.
Aims to develop students' language proficiency through analysis of selected materials that depict the unique tradition, literature and poetry, history, politics, art, and other features related to Jerusalem. Usually offered every second year in the fall.
Ms. Hascal

HBRW 161b What's Up?: Hebrew through Israeli News Media
[ fl hum wi ]
Prerequisite: Five semesters of Hebrew or permission of the instructor. Four class hours per week.
For advanced students who wish to enhance proficiency and accuracy in writing and speaking. Israeli newspapers, films, clips from Israeli TV series and shows, and on-line resources will be used to promote language and cultural competency. Usually offered every spring.
Ms. Porath

HBRW 164b Israeli Theater
[ ca fl hum wi ]
Prerequisite: Five semesters of Hebrew or permission of the instructor. Four class hours and two lab hours per week.
An advanced course that enhances advanced language skills through reading and analysis of plays. The student's creativity is developed through participation in acting and creative writing lab. In reading plays, students can also participate in Hebrew acting lab. Usually offered every second year in the fall.
Ms. Azoulay

HBRW 166b Portrait of the Israeli Woman
[ fl hum wi ]
Prerequisite: Five semesters of Hebrew or permission of the instructor. Four class hours per week.
An advanced culture course that enhances advanced language skills through examination of the Israeli woman's role, image, and unique voice reflected in Israeli literature, history, tradition, and art. Usually offered every second year in the fall.
Ms. Hascal

HBRW 167b Back to the Roots: The Revival of Modern Hebrew
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: Five semesters of Hebrew or permission of the instructor. Four class hours per week.
An advanced course that surveys the origins of the Hebrew language and its development throughout the centuries, focusing on its major stages (biblical, rabbinic, medieval, and modern). Explores the unique phenomenon of its revival as a spoken language and its adaptation to the modern world. Usually offered every fall.
Ms. Porath

HBRW 168a Hebrew Language Teaching I
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: Five semesters of Hebrew or permission of the instructor. Three class hours per week.
An advanced-level methodology course that focuses on the theories and methodologies for teaching Hebrew. Course taught in Hebrew and in English. Designed primarily for students at the advanced level who are interested in eventually being able to teach Hebrew. Usually offered every fall.
Ms. Ringvald

HBRW 168b Hebrew Language Teaching II
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: Five semesters of Hebrew or permission of the instructor. Three class hours per week.
An advanced seminar that focuses on students' understanding of second languages, particularly the students of Hebrew, as well as understanding the foundations of curriculum development. The course is taught in Hebrew and in English and is a continuation of HBRW 168a. Students participate in teaching practicum through internship and learn how to apply their knowledge. Usually offered every spring.
Ms. Ringvald

HBRW 170a Take I: Hebrew through Israeli Cinema
[ fl hum wi ]
Prerequisite: Five semesters of Hebrew or permission of the instructor. Four class hours per week.
An advanced culture course that focuses on the various aspects of Israeli society as they are portrayed in Israeli films and television. In addition to viewing films, the students will be asked to read Hebrew background materials, to participate in class discussions, and to write in Hebrew about the films. Usually offered every spring.
Mr. Ofengenden

(200 and above) Primarily for Graduate Students

HBRW 250 Hebrew as a Second Language: Principles and Pedagogy
Yields three semester-hour credits.
While examining principles and pedagogy of the proficiency approach to Hebrew, participants will learn concepts of how a second language is acquired and the rationale behind a variety of teaching methods. Offered as part of Hebrew Charter School Institute.
Staff

HBRW 255 Teaching Modern Hebrew Language: A Cultural Approach
Yields three semester-hour credits.
Presents a holistic approach to Modern Hebrew teaching and learning in Hebrew charter and other schools, which integrates cultural context, culture inter-text, textual diversity, and an appropriate rich learning environment for the acquisition of an optimal cultural and linguistic competence and performance. Offered as part of Brandeis Hebrew Charter School Institute.
Ms. Talmon

HBRW 256 Instructional Leadership Practicum
Yields three semester-hour credits.
An online reflective seminar enabling in-service Hebrew language teachers and coordinators to apply second language acquisition theories and methods during their practicum. Offered as part of Hebrew Charter School Institute.
Ms. Avni

HBRW 280a Hebrew Language and Culture
Prerequisite: Minimum five semesters of Hebrew. Open to students in the MAT program (Hebrew concentration) only.
Fosters knowledge of Israeli culture awareness as a tool to help their learners maximize their language acquisition. Students in this course will read and respond to literature written for children from preschoolers to young adults. Usually taught every year.
Ms. Hascal

HBRW 298a Independent Study
Staff

HBRW 301a Hebrew Practicum I
Required of all master's degree students.
Staff

HBRW 301b Hebrew Practicum II
Continuation of HBRW 301a.
Staff

HBRW 303a Readings in Assessing the Learning and Teaching of Hebrew
Staff

HBRW 304b Readings in Hebrew Grammar
Ms. Porath

HBRW 305a Readings in Biblical Text
Staff

HBRW 306b Reading of the Israeli Media
Ms. Ringvald

HBRW 307a Readings in Curriculum Theory and Development
Staff

HBRW 309a Readings on Connection of Language and Identity
Ms. Ringvald

Courses of Related Interest

NEJS 173a Trauma and Violence in Israeli Literature and Film
[ hum ]
Prerequisite: HBRW 141a, 143a, 144a, 146a, or permission of the instructor. Taught in Hebrew.
Explores trauma and violence in Israeli Literature, film, and art. Focuses in man-made disasters, war and terrorism, sexual and family violence, and murder and suicide, and examines their relation to nationalism, Zionism, gender, and sexual identity. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Szobel

NEJS 174b Israeli Women Writers on War and Peace
[ hum ]
Taught in Hebrew.
An exploration of nationalism and gender in Modern Hebrew literature. By discussing various Hebrew texts and Israeli works of art and film, this course explores women's relationship to Zionism, war, peace, the state, politics, and processes of cultural production. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Szobel

NEJS 178a Love, Sex, and Power in Israeli Culture
[ hum ]
Taught in Hebrew.
Explores questions of romance, gender, marriage, and jealousy in the Israeli context by offering a feminist and psychoanalytic reading of Hebrew texts, works of art, and film. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Szobel