The Hebrew and Yiddish section offers language study on all levels in both Hebrew and Yiddish. It also offers a broad range of content courses that explore modern Jewish history and culture. These courses present Hebrew and Yiddish film and literature in translation, as well as engaging students in the study of other cultural forms such as the visual arts and museums.
An undergraduate major or minor in Hebrew and Yiddish is not currently offered. However, courses in the Hebrew and Yiddish program count towards the Jewish Studies minor. In addition, most content courses earn Humanities credit and some are writing intensive. Our course offerings include First Year Seminars. Language requirements in several undergraduate programs can be satisfied with Hebrew or Yiddish, including English, History, International Studies, and Writing Seminars.
Modern Hebrew Language Study
The Modern Hebrew language program offers six semesters of Hebrew as second language learning (SLL). Covering novice, intermediate and advanced levels, all Hebrew courses are highly interactive and immersive. We emphasize learning language proficiency by using ACTFL principles in teaching Modern Hebrew via communicative modalities for practical use in all language fluencies including hearing, speaking, reading, and writing. Contemporary Israeli cultural elements for contextual applications are integrated in the study of the language in all six courses. More details about each Hebrew course can be found in the class listings.
Yiddish Language Study
The Yiddish language program offers classes on the elementary level, and on the intermediate and advanced levels whenever there is demand.
Students are guided towards acquisition of the Yiddish language through the methods of communicative language teaching, practicing the four language skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. At the same time, students deepen their knowledge of Yiddish culture through language idiom, song, film and a wide range of texts. The courses prepare students both to conduct research based on texts in Yiddish, and to participate in contemporary Yiddish spoken and written culture.
Elementary and intermediate students use the textbook recently published by the Yiddish Book Center, In Eynem. Together with the multimedia materials on its website, In Eynem provides full-color vocabulary displays, lively exercises, and authentic texts (for reading and listening) made accessible to learners.
The curriculum in the intermediate and advanced classes can be adapted to the interests of each group of students, for example to read texts relevant to a particular research interest, or to focus on Yiddish song or film. Any of these special interests can be incorporated into continuing work on proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.