Do We Need More Hebrew in US Universities?

Yes indeed we need more Hebrew courses in US universities and in our communities.

The Jewish Week wrote (in 2006),
After much deliberation, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture decided that the northeastern corner of New Jersey, a New York City suburb with a large, deeply committed Jewish community, would host its pilot "Hebrew in America" program. The foundation, which provided the seed money for the project, is working closely with the local UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey.
Some time ago we wrote and essay about Hebrew pedagogy, "Teaching Mishnah, Midrash and Talmud at the University". We raised some basic issues and described our approaches.

Courses in Mishnah, Midrash and Talmud at the University address the classical texts either in the original Hebrew and Aramaic or in English translation. In analyzing the nature of such offerings we need to treat several issues independently.

  • First, what are the goals and expectations of instruction of rabbinic texts in the original languages as part of the advanced Hebrew curriculum?
  • How does the background of students affect the presentation?
  • How does one select texts and textbooks?
  • What are the secondary resources available?
  • How does one achieve content-based language-skill acquisition?
Our full article is accessible here.

We have assembled a pedagogic resource of Jewish Studies course syllabi under the aegis of H-Net's H-Judaic Jewish Studies Network, including among them several courses devoted to Rabbinic literature.
  • And on Our Own Site:
Our Hebrew distance learning courses treat Biblical Hebrew. These are some of the course handbooks:
We offer again (republished) this assemblage of curricula to complement this worthy community initiative. (updated from 2006)

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