Courses in Modern Hebrew Language and Culture 2017-09-04T22:40:27+00:00

Modern Hebrew courses at UW are offered primarily through the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization. But, some of these courses are listed in the Time Schedule also through other departments (JSIS, Comparative Literature, and CHID), and some opportunities exist that may not be self-evident from the Time Schedule. If you’re not sure where to look to find the course that’s right for you, contact Professor Naomi Sokoloff. There are plenty of options! Our students range from absolute beginners to successful PhDs who have themselves become professors of Hebrew.

Hebrew is a perfect complement to undergraduate majors and graduate studies in a range of fields, including Comparative Religion, Comparative Literature, Jewish Studies, International Studies, Linguistics, and Anthropology.

Elementary and Intermediate Language Classes


UW offers a full-year sequence of Elementary Modern Hebrew (HEBR 411-412-413) and a full sequence of Intermediate Modern Hebrew (HEBR 421-422-423).  In the summer UW offers Beginning Modern Hebrew (HEBR 401), an intensive course that in nine weeks covers material equivalent to HEBR 411-412-413.

Beyond Second Year

UW offers a range of courses designed for students at the third year level and beyond.  These classes are open to students who have completed HEBR 423, to students who have studied elsewhere and have skills equivalent to or more advanced than HEBR 423, and to native speakers.

These courses include Introduction to Hebrew literature (HEBR 451 and HEBR 452), Hebrew Poetry (HEBR 454), Hebrew Fiction (HEBR 455), Hebrew Poems and Prayers (HEBR 456), and Hebrew in Song (HEBR 457).

In addition, there are a number of opportunities for students to register for Independent Study credits (HEBR 490).  For example, students enrolled in a literature-in-translation course taught by Professor Sokoloff may choose to do some of the reading in Hebrew, complete some extra assignments (such as writing compositions in Hebrew), and earn 2-3 additional credits  (HEBR 490) along the way.  Courses suitable for this arrangement  include Literature of Emerging Nations (C LIT 323), Israeli Identities (NEAR E 326/CHID 498), Jewish Life in Fiction and Film (NEAR E  xxx/C LIT 310, and Literature and the Holocaust (NEAR E 441/C LIT 441).  Another option: take the film course, Life in Israel, and complete the written work in Hebrew, rather than English, to earn 2 credits of HEBR 490. Contact Mahdi Hedayat, the NELC Undergraduate Advisor, for more information, and learn more about language options in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the NELC website.

Not Sure Where You Fit In?

Are you a heritage student (for example, someone who grew up speaking some Hebrew at home, but never really learned to read and write)?  Did you study at an ulpan in Israel and now feel unsure which level Hebrew class  at UW will work for you? Consult with any of our instructors for help assessing your skills and for advice on placement.

moodleAnother resource that may be helpful: our on-line learning tools, available to UW students through the Language Learning Center’s Moodle site. These materials include vocabulary lists, sample sentences, reading passages, listening exercises, grammar exercises, and quizzes to accompany the material covered in Elementary Modern Hebrew. Serving as courseware for students in HEBR 411-412-413, the Moodle materials are also open to any enrolled students. All you have to do is set up an account with a user name and password through LLC. Some students who don’t fit easily into HEBR 411-412-413  have worked with these materials to earn Independent Study credits. For more information, contact Professor Sokoloff.