Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Why Study Hebrew?

Photo credit: Lev Gross-Comstock
Photo credit: Lev Gross-Comstock

Hebrew is spoken by approximately 9 million people and is the primary language of Israel, which is an important economic and political power in the Middle East. It also has a fascinating story: While the history of the Hebrew language extends back to Biblical times, it was revived as a modern, spoken language beginning in the 19th century.

Here are a few facts about Modern Hebrew:

  • Hebrew is unique. Prior to its revival, it was not spoken as a mother tongue for 2000 years. Learn about how this revival took place, and how this ancient tongue became a modern language as versatile as English or any other.
  • Learning Hebrew is fast-moving and fun. You’ll learn the Hebrew alphabet quickly, and the grammar is straightforward and systematic, built around three-letter roots. Waves of immigrants have learned Hebrew relatively quickly, and so can you!
  • Hebrew can be useful for students in fields like computer science and political science. Israel, where Hebrew is spoken, is one of the world’s fastest-growing high-tech economies and an important player on the world stage.
  • Hebrew is a Semitic language, so students who have studied other Middle Eastern languages, like Arabic, will find lots of similarities in grammar and vocabulary, which will help them jump into Hebrew with ease.
  • Students will gain exposure to Israeli popular culture, including media, music, cinema, and television. Israeli media has become increasingly influential through outlets such as Netflix, and a number of popular American TV shows, such as “Homeland,” are actually remakes of Israeli shows.
  • Students interested in research on the Middle East or work in the region will find that knowledge of Hebrew is invaluable.