Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages


The program in Hebrew Studies at MSU offers students the opportunity both to develop core language skills and to gain an appreciation for the rich and varied culture of Israel. Using a communicative approach, students utilize the language in situations approximating real life. Courses are structured to allow for ample speaking opportunities and small group work. We also make use of state-of-the-art multimedia technology. While achieving proficiency in the language is the central goal, much emphasis is placed on the links between language and culture.

For further information about the Program in Hebrew Studies at MSU, please contact Professor Yore Kedem, who teaches the first and second year sequence, or Professor Marc S. Bernstein, the coordinator. Students with previous background in Hebrew should contact Professor Kedem to take the Hebrew placement exam.

Why Study Hebrew?

The rebirth of the Jewish State in 1948 and the revival of Hebrew after nearly two millennia of dormancy are among the most dramatic social and linguistic revolutions of the twentieth century. However, Israeli culture and society, while on the one hand very new phenomena, evince marked continuity with the past and knowledge of Hebrew is an essential window into Jewish and Western civilization. Courses in the Program emphasize the language and culture of contemporary Israel, but also provide a sound basis for further work in the classical texts of the Jewish tradition. Our courses prepare students for Jewish educational and community work, graduate work in Jewish or Religious studies, and positions in international affairs, government, and NGOs. Hebrew Studies at MSU are a central component of the University's Jewish Studies Program, and all Hebrew courses beyond the first year sequence may be applied to the 20-credit requirement for the Specialization in Jewish Studies.

Natalie Portman Teaching Hebrew Slang Words