Hebrew

Last updated: April 2, 2018 at 5:03 p.m.

The Hebrew Language and Literature Program enables students to function in the Hebrew language at all levels and in all skills. In terms of both the means and the goal of the program, a special emphasis is given to the personal needs of each student. For this reason we developed a multi-track curriculum that allows students in different levels to select those courses which best interest them, fit their abilities, and correspond to their needs. Students may choose courses that emphasize specific skills, such as reading, writing, speaking or grammar, or courses that are based on content, such as literature, film, Business and theater. In addition, the program recognizes the needs of the greater community of Hebrew learners in America by providing instruction and guidance on various issues of Hebrew language acquisition.

The program offers 18 courses per year including beginning, intermediate and advanced level courses. The advanced level courses vary greatly and include an introduction to classical Hebrew, literature courses and courses on contemporary Israeli culture, including film, theater, Jerusalem, theater and Hebrew for business. Placement is determined according to the individual level of each student through a placement test administered by the program.

The Hebrew Language and Literature Program of the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies offers instruction in Hebrew language and literature and in the teaching of Hebrew language. Our program allows students to acquire an advanced level of proficiency and a strong background in Hebrew culture and literature. Undergraduate students are welcome to participate in the Hebrew program as minors or to simply take individual courses, as well as to fulfill university language requirements.

The publication of the Hebrew Proficiency guidelines in 1990 (By the Hebrew program at Brandeis in Collaboration with The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) have helped us gain a better understanding of the characteristic stages of linguistic behavior that non- native usually follows from "no communication in Hebrew" (the Novice level) to "native- like competence" (the superior level).

These guidelines opened the way for more realistic assessment of functional proficiency in all four skills obtainable through instruction in any academic framework. Since our curriculum was inspired by The Hebrew proficiency Guidelines, and therefore is written in terms of "student outcomes, i.e. it describes not what we hope to achieve, but what students actually learned and were able to do after each period of instruction. The curriculum assumes 14 weeks of instruction either six or four hours weekly (depends on the level) including the number of contact hours both in the classroom and outside the classroom.

In order to get a true indication of what they have learned both achievements and proficiency exams need to be included in the curriculum. The curriculum for the first three semesters was written with equal emphasis on all four skills. Starting from the fourth semester there are courses that emphasize one specific skill e.g. reading, speaking, writing over the others. Since there is a difference between the pace of the acquisition of productive skills (speaking and writing) and the receptive skills (reading and listening) the expected levels of outcomes are articulated in terms of range of levels. In order to clarify the exact expectation, we articulated the outcomes' goals for each of the language skills. Each goal articulation includes the following criteria: Content/context, Tasks, Text -type and accuracy.

In order to get a true indication of both student progress and outcome exams need to be included in the curriculum. Students are encouraged to be active participants in their own learning. We hope that the articulation of the learning goals will help our students develop realistic expectations regarding the proficiency achievable in a specified number of hours of study. They need to understand that learning a foreign language is a lifelong endeavor.

Students majoring in Hebrew language and literature at Brandeis will:
1. Achieve functional linguistic proficiency in the four language skills (speaking, listening, writing, reading) at the level of a near native speaker through application of the acquired knowledge in all areas of language and culture.
2. Be able to utilize these skills in both formal and informal settings.
3. Be capable of analyzing all aspects of the written and oral language with respect to different genre, including media and modern literature, as well as classical and academic texts.
4. Deepen the understanding of historical evolution and contemporary development of the language through analysis of language structure.
5. Develop comprehension of and appreciation for cultural phenomena represented in the language.
6. Become familiar with mechanisms of language acquisition, assisting them in becoming lifelong learners of the Hebrew language.

Students at the Hebrew program are coming from various Hebrew language background and are seeking to test how well they function and their level of competence. The Hebrew minor will make it possible to receive acknowledgment for their past experience knowledge through their current academic Hebrew coursework. The minor will encourage them to pursue more courses to improve their receptive skills: listening, reading and their productive skills: speaking and writing in the language. The Minor will help to prepare them for a potential future career in the field of teaching Hebrew as a second language acquisition.

An undergraduate Minor in Hebrew Language, Literature and Culture will prepare students for graduate school and professions in education, business, journalism, diplomacy and other fields. The Minor in Hebrew Language, Literature, and Culture aims to bring students to an advanced level of proficiency in Hebrew and offer a strong background in Hebrew culture and literature. Courses are taught by faculty whose fields of specialization include biblical studies, post-biblical, Rabbinic, and medieval Hebrew literature, Modern Hebrew literature and culture, Hebrew language, and Hebrew language pedagogy.

Sara Hascal, Acting Director Hebrew Language Program
(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Guy Antebi
(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Esther Shorr
(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Aliza Brosh
(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

The minor consists of five semester courses:

A. Three courses in Hebrew language selected from the following: HBRW 34a, HBRW 35a, HBRW 41a, HBRW 44b, HBRW 121b, HBRW 123a, HBRW 123b, HBRW 124a, HBRW 141a, HBRW 144a, HBRW 146a, HBRW 161b, HBRW 162b, HBRW 164b, HBRW 167b, HBRW 168a, HBRW 168b, HBRW 170a.

Please note that only one HBRW 30-level course and only one HBRW 40-level course might count for your minor.

B. One text-intensive course in Biblical, Rabbinic or Medieval Hebrew. The course is taught in English using texts in Hebrew: NEJS 10a, NEJS 25a, NEJS 110b, NEJS 112a, NEJS 114b, NEJS 118b, 119a, NEJS 121b, NEJS 122b, NEJS 123b, NEJS 125b, NEJS 126a, NEJS 126b, NEJS 127b.

C. One course in Modern Hebrew Literature (taught in Hebrew): NEJS 173a, NEJS 174a, NEJS 174b, NEJS 178a.

D. No grade below a C- will be given credit toward the minor.

E. No course taken pass/fail may count toward the minor requirements.

Students may double count up to two courses with another major or minor. A maximum of two semester course credits taken at other universities may be accepted toward the minor. Each course transferred from another university must have the approval of the Hebrew program in order to be accepted for credit toward the minor requirements. Students are encouraged to seek advance approval from the Hebrew program advisor for all courses intended for transfer credit.

All students are strongly encouraged to study Hebrew in Israel for a semester, a full year, or in intensive summer programs. Study abroad provides students with daily interaction in the target language and enables them to achieve the following goals:
1. Greater linguistic precision in speaking, reading, writing and listening to the language.
2. The experience of living and learning the culture in an authentic setting.
3. The Hebrew courses will achieve a greater understanding of human diversity based on the study or experience of different social backgrounds and settings especially that obtained through time spent abroad.

A placement exam will be given upon your return to campus to determine your language competence.

Students majoring in the Hebrew track of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies cannot also obtain a minor in Hebrew Language, Literature and Culture.

(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. Four class hours and one additional lab hour per week.
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. 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. 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.
Staff

HBRW 123a Creative Reading and Writing in Hebrew I
[ fl hum wi ]
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.
Staff

HBRW 124a Hebrew for Business, Doing Business in Start-Up Nation
[ fl wi ]
Prerequisite: Four semesters of Hebrew or permission of the instructor. Does not meet the requirement in the school of humanities.
Provides students with tools and competence to deal with the Israeli business community. Intended for intermediate to advanced Hebrew students who wish to gain business language and cultural skills. Usually offered every year.
Sara Hascal

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.
Staff

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.
Staff

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.
Sara 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.
Staff

HBRW 162b Translation Practice and Theory
[ hum nw ]
Focuses on the practice and theory of Hebrew to English translation. Students will translate and edit authentic materials (literary texts, television series, film, internet sites, speeches and newspapers.) We will also use short texts on the theory and practice of translation in order to reflect on our own translation practices. Usually offered every year.
Staff

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.
Staff

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.
Aliza Brosh

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.
Staff

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.
Staff

(200 and above) Primarily for Graduate Students

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
Staff

HBRW 305a Readings in Biblical Text
Staff

HBRW 306b Reading of the Israeli Media
Staff

HBRW 307a Readings in Curriculum Theory and Development
Staff

HBRW 309a Readings on Connection of Language and Identity
Staff

Courses of Related Interest

NEJS 72a Representing the Arab Israeli Conflict
[ hum ]
Explores how the Arab-Israeli conflict is portrayed in literature, film and political writing. The course explores questions such as: what are the ways in which we find conviction, legitimacy, moral support, pain and enjoyment in the images, narratives and ideas surrounding the conflict; what is the relationship between narrative and ideology; how are fictional representations and ideological discourse constructed poetically and rhetorically; what are the ways in which images repress/empower women who partake in the conflict. Usually offered every year.
Staff

NEJS 173a Trauma and Violence in Israeli Literature and Film
[ fl hum ]
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.
Ilana Szobel

NEJS 174b Israeli Women Writers on War and Peace
[ fl 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.
Ilana Szobel

NEJS 178a Love, Sex, and Power in Israeli Culture
[ fl 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.
Ilana Szobel