Hebrew

Introduction

Welcome to the Hebrew Program at the University of Virginia.

The Hebrew program at the University of Virginia has grown rapidly over the past decade. We are part of the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Culture and collaborate closely with the Jewish Studies Program. At present, we offer classes in beginning and intermediate levels of Modern Hebrew, which completes undergraduates’ foreign language requirement. In addition, we offer advanced conversation and reading courses on an independent study basis. The University also offers classes in Biblical Hebrew, through the Religious Studies Department.

Our goal is to train students in all four skills (listening comprehension, reading, writing, and speaking) of Modern Hebrew. Starting in the first level, we teach the language not only through the textbooks, but also through examples gathered from contemporary Israeli culture – music, newspapers, radio, Internet, novels, poetry, academic texts, TV shows, films, and so forth. We conduct classes fully in Modern Hebrew and discourage the use of English by the students in class. Our goal is to challenge students sufficiently in the classroom in order to allow them to interact successfully – whether through travel, work, or academic study – in today’s Israel.

The Program also brings prominent Israeli cultural figures to the University such as authors, poets, and filmmakers to deliver lectures and provide workshops for our students. Through these means, we expose students directly to Israeli culture, presenting a better understanding of this dynamic culture.

 


Hebrew Faculty


 

Hebrew Language Program Coordinator

Zvi Gilboa
145 New Cabell Hall
(434) 924-1322
zg7s@virginia.edu    

 


 

Hebrew Placement Test

Placement / Foreign Language Requirement Exemption for Modern Hebrew:

Placement into Modern Hebrew language courses at the University of Virginia is done through a test administered in person by the teacher of the language classes. This test should take about 20-30 minutes. Both written and oral competence in Modern Hebrew will be evaluated.

 

Who should take the placement test:

1. Students who have studied Hebrew before at home or in some setting other than UVa and don't know exactly which class they should enroll to, should take the placement test before they register, and
2. Students who want to be exempted from the College’s Foreign Language requirement.

 

When to take the test:

Placement for the Modern Hebrew language program takes place the two days prior to the beginning of classes each semester.

 

Who to contact:

Please make arrangements to take a placement examination by contacting the Hebrew Language Program Coordinator.

 

When you will know the result:

We will discuss your placement at the end of the exam.

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q: I am a complete beginner. I cannot read the Hebrew Alphabet and I do not have any knowledge of vocabulary. Is there a class in your program for a student like me?

A: Of course! HEBR 1010: Introduction to Modern Hebrew I. This course is intended for complete beginners. Please note that this course is offered only in the fall. The spring semester of Beginners level is the second course in the Hebrew sequence. If you do not take the first semester in the fall, you will have to wait until next fall.

 

Q: I learned Hebrew in Hebrew school many years ago. I forgot most of my Hebrew. For which class should I register?

A: Please take the Hebrew placement test and you will be notified about your placement. For info about the test, please visit the Placement Test webpage.

 

Q: I graduated from a Yeshiva high school and I am quite proficient in Hebrew. Am I exempt from language requirement in Hebrew?

A: Only if you take the Hebrew placement test and place out. If you are not exempt, you will be notified about your placement. For more information, please visit the Placement test website.

 

Q: I am a transfer student. In my previous college I took Hebrew courses. Am I exempt from language requirement in Hebrew?

A: The University of Virginia requires you to complete four semesters of Hebrew, in which classes meet five hours a week. If you took the same number of hours in your previous college, you may be exempt. Please present your transcript from your previous college to the Hebrew Language Program Coordinator.

 

Q: I was born in the U.S. but my family speaks Hebrew at home. I speak Hebrew, but I do not read well and I cannot write Hebrew at all. For which class should I register?

A: Please speak to the Hebrew Language Program Coordinator.

 


 

Course Descriptions

HEBR 1010/1020 - (4) (Y)
Introduction to Modern Hebrew- Beginners

Prerequisite for 1020: Completion of Hebrew 1010 with a grade of C+ or better, or permission of the instructor.
An introduction to the pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and writing system of modern Israeli Hebrew. This course teaches students to understand and produce simple texts in Modern Hebrew through exposure to the Hebrew currently used in Israeli television, cinema, pop music, Internet, literature, and everyday conversation. Each lesson emphasizes all four skills – reading, listening comprehension, speaking, and writing – so students will feel comfortable to use their skills in the same manner. Class will be conducted in Hebrew, and the use of English by students will be discouraged. By the end of this sequence, students will have mastered the core grammatical principles of Hebrew, along with a basic vocabulary of 1000 words, and will be able to read and understand simple texts and carry out simple conversation.

* This course is open to anyone, even if the student has no background in Hebrew.

 

HEBR 2010/2020 - (4) (S)
Lower Intermediate

Prerequisite for 2020: Completion of Hebrew 2010 with a grade of C+ or better, or permission of the instructor.
Continuation of the study of the fundamentals of grammar, with special attention to verb conjugation, noun declension, and syntactic structure, of modern Israeli Hebrew. This course teaches students to understand and produce texts in Modern Hebrew through exposure to the Hebrew currently used in Israeli television, cinema, pop music, Internet, literature, and everyday conversation. Each lesson emphasizes all four skills – reading, listening comprehension, speaking, and writing – so students will feel comfortable to use their skills in the same manner. This course will combine and broaden the grammatical structures and vocabulary studied at the Beginner level. Class will be conducted in Hebrew, and the use of English by students will be discouraged. By the end of this sequence, students will be familiar with the basic structure of the Hebrew language.

 

HEBR 3010/3020 - (3) (Y)
Upper Intermediate

Prerequisite for 3020: Completion of Hebrew 3010, or equivalent, permission of the instructor
Continuation of the study of the fundamentals of grammar, with special attention to the conjugation of weak, or hollow, verbs, the passive form of all verb conjugations, and subordinate and adverbial clauses, of modern Israeli Hebrew This course teaches students to understand unaltered articles and produce passages in Modern Hebrew through exposure to the Hebrew currently used in Israeli television, cinema, pop music, Internet, literature, newspaper, and everyday conversation. Each lesson emphasizes all four skills – reading, listening comprehension, speaking, and writing – so students will feel comfortable to use their skills in the same manner. The course will combine and broaden the grammatical structures and vocabulary studied at the Lower Intermediate level. Class will be conducted in Hebrew, and the use of English by students will be discouraged. By the end of this sequence, students will be able to read texts in regular Hebrew and write on topics discussed in class.

 

HEBR 4993 - (3) (Y)
Advanced Modern Hebrew

Prerequisite for the second semester of Hebrew 4993: Completion of the first semester of Hebrew 4993, or equivalent, permission of the instructor
Hebrew 4000-level- Advanced Modern Hebrew
Continuation of the study of the fundamentals of grammar of modern Israeli Hebrew. This course offers practice in understanding lectures on the university level and reading selections. This course teaches students to understand unaltered articles and produce passages in Modern Hebrew through exposure to the Hebrew currently used in Israeli television, cinema, pop music, Internet, literature, newspaper, and everyday conversation. Each lesson emphasizes all four skills – reading, listening comprehension, speaking, and writing – so students will feel comfortable to use their skills in the same manner. The course will combine and broaden the grammatical structures and vocabulary studied at the Upper Intermediate level. Class will be conducted in Hebrew, and the use of English by students will be discouraged. By the end of this sequence, students will be able to participate fully in Israeli academic and social life.

NOTE (taken from Undergraduate Record):
(3) = Number of credits. For courses dually numbered (1010, 1020 or 2010, 2020, etc.) the number of credits represents the number of credits for each course. For example three credits for 1010, three credits for 1020, etc.
(Y) = Code for frequency course is offered. Variations are: S = offered fall and spring semesters; Y = offered at least once every academic year (fall or spring semester); SI = offered upon sufficient student interest; IR = offered irregularly.

The Department reserves the right to place any student in the course most appropriate to his or her skill level. Such placement will be the responsibility of the coordinator for each language program, and should be made by the fifth class meeting.
For current course listing, please visit the online course listings:
http://www.virginia.edu/sis
Modern Hebrew Placement Test Information

 


 

Hebrew on the Web

Language Help

Newspapers and Magazines

Radio online

Documentary Films
The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, has released to the internet over 100 documentary films from their Spielberg Archive, dealing with Jewish history and the history of the state of Israel. The films are available for viewing at www.spielbergfilmarchive.org.il.

Other Internet Resources

Portals

Buying Books, Video, Music

Hebrew courses in Israel