The Hebrew Language program serves the varied needs of the entire JTS student body. The overall goal of the program is to develop Hebrew language literacy in students whose native language is not Hebrew. Through this program, students acquire linguistic knowledge and competency in the use of Hebrew for academic, professional, and conversational purposes.
While the study of modern Hebrew is at the core of the program and classes are primarily conducted in Hebrew, biblical and rabbinic texts are also read and linguistically analyzed. The use of the Hebrew Language Lab and other online resources for linguistic and cultural enrichment is an integral part of the program.
The program offers semester-long courses at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Some of the regular courses are also offered during the summer.
In addition to required courses, the Hebrew Language program offers a number of electives designed to meet particular needs and interests.
A free tutorial service, Hebrew-On-Demand (HOD), is offered three hours weekly by Hebrew Language faculty; affordable short-term individual tutoring is available as well.
Each school of JTS determines the level of courses its students must complete in order to fulfill its Hebrew language requirements.
In order to be placed in the appropriate level Hebrew course, incoming students must take a written Hebrew Language placement examination prior to the beginning of the new academic year. Advancement to the next Hebrew level depends upon satisfactory achievement and is based on multiple assessment measures.
Hebrew Fellows Program (שוחרים)
Students in the Hebrew Fellows Program commit to taking a certain number of courses taught in Hebrew (according to individual schools; see below). The program also incorporates lunchtime programs with visiting Israeli speakers and volunteer opportunities to help promote Hebrew within the culture of JTS. Students who successfully complete the program graduate with the distinction "with honors in Hebrew" on their diplomas and become eligible for a substantial subsidy toward a trip to Israel.
Requirements for Admission to the Hebrew Fellows Program by School:
List College: Students may apply for admission to the program after having completed HEB 5203: Intermediate Hebrew II or having been exempted from Hebrew on the basis of the Hebrew placement exam. Hebrew Fellows will take five courses taught in Hebrew. One course may be transferred from another institution (e.g., a school in Israel).
The Rabbinical School: After returning to JTS from their year in Israel, students will take three courses of their own choosing taught in Hebrew, achieving at least a 3.33 (B+) average in them.
William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education: Hebrew Fellows will complete HEB 5301: Advanced Hebrew I and take three courses taught in Hebrew, achieving at least a 3.33 (B+) average in them.
The Graduate School: Hebrew Fellows will complete the Hebrew language requirements for the degree, and take three courses taught in Hebrew, achieving at least a 3.33 (B+) average in them. Courses will be selected in consultation with the academic advisor.
Sample List of Courses in Hebrew Language
HEB 1001: Foundations of Hebrew
HEB 1101: Intensive Elementary Hebrew I
HEB 2103: Intensive Elementary Hebrew II
HEB 2201: Intermediate Hebrew I
HEB 5203: Intermediate Hebrew II
HEB 5205: Intermediate Hebrew I for Division of Religious Leadership
HEB 5206: Intermediate Hebrew II for Division of Religious Leadership
HEB 5301: Advanced Hebrew I
HEB 5303: Advanced Hebrew II
HEB 5221: Advanced Comprehension and Communication
HEB 5117: Workshop in Hebrew Fluency
HEB 5572: Hebrew Poetry in Song
HEB 5998: Introduction to Reading Academic Hebrew
HEB 5999: Reading Academic Hebrew