Hebrew Language

The goal of the Hebrew Language program at JTS is to develop Hebrew language literacy in students whose native language is not Hebrew. Through this program, students acquire linguistic knowledge and competence in the use of Hebrew for academic, professional, and conversational purposes.

While acquiring proficiency in modern Hebrew is at the core of the program—and classes are conducted in Hebrew—biblical, rabbinic, and other premodern Hebrew texts are also studied. The use of educational technology at 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. Most of the regular courses are also offered during the summer.

The program also offers intensive live, interactive online courses. For more information, please contact hebrew@jtsa.edu.

In addition to required courses, the Hebrew Language program offers a number of electives designed to meet an array of 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 JTS school determines the course level its students must complete in order to fulfill its Hebrew language requirements.

In order to be placed in the appropriate-level Hebrew course, all incoming students 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 Hebrew reading groups, a parashat shavu’a club, and a lunchtime Hebrew Table, as well as 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.

Requirements for Admission to the Hebrew Fellows Program by School:

List College: Students may apply for admission to the program after completing HEB 5203: Intermediate Hebrew II or if they are exempted from Hebrew on the basis of the Hebrew placement exam. Hebrew Fellows will take three courses taught in Hebrew and participate regularly in Hebrew Fellows events. 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 GPA (B+) average.

William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education: Hebrew Fellows will complete a Hebrew language course on level Gimel or higher (HEB 5205 or 5221) and take three courses taught in Hebrew, achieving at least a 3.33 GPA (B+) average in them.

Gershon Kekst 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: Alef 1
  • HEB 1101: Alef 2
  • HEB 2103: Alef 3
  • HEB 2201: Bet 1
  • HEB 5203: Bet 2
  • HEB 5205: Gimel 1
  • HEB 5206: Gimel 2
  • HEB 5300: Advanced Hebrew Skills
  • HEB 5301: Dalet 1
  • HEB 5303: Dalet 2
  • HEB 5009: Intensive Hebrew Grammar
  • HEB 5221: Advanced Comprehension and Communication
  • HEB 5572: Hebrew Poetry in Song
  • HEB 5998: Introduction to Reading Academic Hebrew
  • HEB 5999: Reading Academic Hebrew