The revival of the Hebrew language is a stunning cultural achievement; you can be part of it. After centuries as a classical language, Hebrew is today the primary language of Israel and spoken by over 10 million people world wide.
Major, Minor, or Double Major
Hebrew is available to you as both a major and minor course of study. Additionally, many students pursue a double major in Hebrew and in another area, such as Political Science, Religious Studies, History, Arabic, International Affairs, Education, Psychology, and Linguistics. The Hebrew major fosters the development of critical skills in understanding the language, literature, and culture, giving you both basic reading and conversational competence and a broad general knowledge of Hebrew literature from the Biblical, rabbinic, and modern periods as well as history and politics.
Immerse Yourself in Intensive Language Study
Our program offers courses for everyone from the true beginner to the advanced student. The beginning and intermediate levels immerse you in the living language, increasing your skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. A variety of courses at the advanced level build on these skills, enabling you to read a wide range of literature from the Bible to contemporary works, and to achieve cultural understanding.
Match Your Program with Your Goals
While there are certain requirements that guarantee breadth and depth of study in the Hebrew major, the selection of courses is flexible. Course choices, made with the assistance of a faculty advisor, will reflect your individual career goals and interests. Our low student-faculty ratio allows unparalleled individual attention.
We encourage students to
study abroad, and support full year, semester, and summer programs at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at the University of Haifa.
Consider Senior Honors
If you would like to work toward senior honors, plan to consult with your faculty advisor early in your junior year. Your advisor can help ensure that you take appropriate courses that would prepare you for writing your thesis.
Select From a Wide Variety of Courses
- Four years plus of Modern Hebrew instruction
- Biblical Hebrew
- Rabbinic Hebrew
- The Book of Isaiah
- History of the Jews in Islamic Lands
- How the World Began: Creation Myths of the Ancient World
- Introduction to Rabbinic Judaism
- Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
- Israeli Culture and Society
- Israeli Politics
- Israeli Women Writers
- Jerusalem, the Holy City
- The Jews in the Ancient World
- The Jews in the Modern World
- Literature and Film from Asia and the Near East
- Medieval Jewish Travelogues, Chronicles, and Biographies
- The Middle East in Modern Times
- Modern Jewish Writers
- Modern Near Eastern Literature
- The Mystical Tradition in Judaism
- Readings in Midrash
- Topics in Rabbinic Texts: Mishnah and Gemara
- Women Writers of the Near and Far East
A Sampling of Jobs Held by Our Undergraduates
Recent Washington University graduates have gone to work for non-governmental organizations that deal with Middle Eastern politics and diplomacy, for funds that support the cinema and the arts in Israel, for governmental agencies and departments, for software companies, and for educational institutions.