Hebrew Program Courses

candles from a Menorah

Spring 2024 Offerings  Fall 2024 Offerings Course Info on SIS Archives

Course Descriptions

The list below includes descriptions of all undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Hebrew Program.

Review specific course requirements for the Hebrew Program. For up-to-date information on course offerings, schedules, room locations and registration, please visit the Student Information System (SIS).

Hebrew Language Courses

HEB 1 Elementary Hebrew. For students with no previous knowledge of Hebrew. Study of fundamental speech patterns. Listening comprehension and oral ability, using audiovisual method. Progressively greater emphasis placed on reading and writing skills. Fall Semester

HEB 2 Elementary Hebrew. Study of fundamental speech patterns. Listening comprehension and oral ability, using audiovisual method. Progressively greater emphasis placed on reading and writing skills. Prerequisites: Hebrew 1 or equivalent. Spring Semester

HEB 3 Intermediate Hebrew. Rapid oral review of structural principles. Written exercises. Reading and discussion based on selected materials from Hebrew literature. Conducted mainly in Hebrew. Prerequisites: Hebrew 2 or equivalent. Fall Semester

HEB 4 Intermediate Hebrew. Rapid oral review of structural principles. Written exercises. Reading and discussion based on selected materials from Hebrew literature. Conducted mainly in Hebrew. Prerequisites: Hebrew 3 or equivalent. Spring Semester

HEB 21 Conversation/Composition. Class conducted primarily in Hebrew. Readings will include contemporary Hebrew short stories and articles. Class discussions and compositions will be based on the literary texts, up-to-date news, and a selection of Israeli films. Prerequisites: Hebrew 4 or equivalent. Fall Semester

HEB 22 Conversation/Composition. Continuation of Hebrew 21. The study of major works and problems of the twentieth century in Hebrew literature and in Jewish history. Readings will include works by Shahar, Liebrecht, Avnery, Levin, Hareven, and others. Discussions and compositions will follow the literary texts, films, and current events. Prerequisites: Hebrew 21 or equivalent. Spring Semester

HEB 121 Composition and Conversation. Class conducted primarily in Hebrew. Readings will include contemporary Hebrew short stories and articles. Class discussions and compositions will be based on the literary texts, up-to-date news, and a selection of Israeli films. Extra readings and written assignments. Prerequisites: Hebrew 22 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester

HEB 122 Composition and Conversation. The study of major works and problems of the twentieth century in Hebrew literature and in Jewish history. Readings will include works by Shahar, Liebrecht, Avnery, Levin, Hareven, and others. Discussions and compositions will follow the literary texts, films, and current events. Extra readings and written assignments. Prerequisites: Hebrew 121 or permission of the instructor. Spring Semester

Courses Taught in English

HEB 61 Introduction to Talmud. Selected passages from the Talmud and rabbinic literature, Mishna, Gemara, Commentaries. Relevance to contemporary moral and ethical issues. All texts in English. Cross-listed as REL 23 and JS 87. If taken at the 100-level: Extra assignments and class meetings in Hebrew. 

HEB 70 Introduction to Judaism. Judaism as a diverse textual tradition and lived religion, with a focus on beliefs, ethics, and rituals. Contemporary Jewish communities from a global perspective; Hebrew Bible; rabbinic literature; medieval and modern theology and mysticism; social forms, law, and practice. Cross-listed as JS 34 and REL 18.

HEB 132 The Book of Genesis and Its Interpreters. A detailed study of the biblical Book of Genesis and related biblical texts, in their historical setting, with special attention to the role that Genesis played in postbiblical religious traditions and in art and literature from early modern times onward.  All texts read in English. Cross-listed as REL 186, JS 132, and ILVS 132.

HEB 161 Introduction to Talmud. Selected passages from the Talmud and rabbinic literature, Mishna, Gemara, Commentaries. Relevance to contemporary moral and ethical issues. All texts in English. Extra assignments and class meetings in Hebrew. 

HEB 172 Introduction to Jewish Mysticism. Overview of the intellectual history of Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism. Introduction to mystical ideas and doctrines from Biblical texts to contemporary sources, also within a wider, non-Jewish context. Inherent tensions within the mystical enterprise and the conflict between mysticism and rationalism. Reflects on uses and limits of mysticism in shaping contemporary religious experience. Cross-listed as REL 182 and JS 172.

HEB 188 Jewish Experience on Film. Selected classic and contemporary films dealing with aspects of Jewish experience in America, Europe, and Israel, combined with reading on the cultural, historical,  and philosophical problems illuminated by each film. One weekly session will be devoted to screenings, the other to discussion of the films and readings. In English. Cross-listed as REL 188, FMS 84, JS 142, and ILVS 142. 

HEB 91 Special Topics. Topics in Hebrew culture. In Hebrew.

HEB 92 Topics in Hebrew Literature.

HEB 93, HEB 94 Directed Study. Directed Study. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.

HEB 95, HEB 96 Hebrew Teaching Internship. Teaching Internship. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.

HEB 191 Special Topics. Topics in Hebrew culture. Please see departmental website for specific details. In Hebrew.  Recommendation: HEB 122 or instructor permission. 

HEB 193, HEB 194 Directed Study. Directed Study. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.