Modern Hebrew – Level 7

Stay up to date with everything that is going on in Israel by reading the local news in Hebrew. Be a part of Israel's culture and world and immerse yourself in Hebrew literature and history.

Course Description

Course Main Takeways
  • Level
  • Weekly Hours
    2 hrs
  • Duration
    9 Months
  • Language

When you reach this level, you are already in love with the Hebrew language and you are excited to learn as much as you can about Israel. In this course, we will begin to familiarize you with the exceptions to the rules of Hebrew grammar. There is no better way to do this, than by reading Hebrew poetry and songs, as well as articles on a variety of topics including education, art and biographies of famous Israelis.

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Course Author

Ouzi Rotem, M.A.

Ouzi Rotem, M.A.

Ouzi Rotem lives in Tel Aviv, where he  teaches Modern and Biblical Hebrew as well as Biblical Aramaic. He enjoys reading, cooking and listening to…

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Syllabus Summary

  1. Nice to meet you

    Our general introduction. People always want to make a good first impression, so in this class we’ll read a text that asks how do you make a good first impression.

  2. Any volunteers?

    In all societies people volunteer for various jobs. We’ll look at volunteering in Israeli society and read an article about it.

  3. Israeli money

    The way in which money is designed tells us a lot about a nation’s history and culture. Which people are printed on Israeli banknotes? And, perhaps, is it time to update those faces?

  4. Why a tomato is called a tomato (but in Hebrew!)

    From where did the Israeli tomato originate? And how did it get the name “agvanya”? This lesson will examine how new words are developed in modern Hebrew.

  5. Polar bears and global warming

    Global warming and melting ice are disturbing to habitants of the North Pole bears, reindeer and humans alike. What can be done? In this class we’ll be reading an article that discusses these issues.

  6. Home schooling

    In recent years, more and more Israeli parents have decided to teach their children at home instead of sending them to school. In this lesson we’ll read an article about this phenomenon and various methods of home schooling.

  7. Bilingual schools

    In Israel there are a number of bilingual schools where instruction is given in both Hebrew and Arabic. We will read an article that describes one of these schools and the experiences of its teachers and pupils.

  8. The Jewish museum for children

    How should Jews be presented to children of the world – including non-Jewish children? How can this be done interestingly and entertainingly? In Brooklyn they’ve found a way: The Jewish Museum for Children!

  9. What, there are Jews outside Israel?

    Many Israeli children are unaware that Jews also live outside of Israel. We’ll read an article about a new school program concerning the Diaspora.

  10. Watch your Hebrew!

    In this lesson we’ll look at a newspaper article about modern spoken Hebrew. The article suggests that verbs are disappearing from the language and the language is becoming progressively poorer.

  11. The changing face of kibbutzim

    The Kibbutz is a major symbol of Israel and Israeli agriculture. In the last few years Kibbutzim have undergone fundamental changes. This lesson’s text discusses these changes.

  12. Psychology and nature

    Is it possible to undergo psychological treatment through appreciation of nature? How can psychological strength and wellbeing be drawn from the trees, the rocks and the streams? This lesson will look at treatment, developed in Israel, called “Nature Therapy”.

  13. Lions in Haifa

    Three lions are being moved to Haifa’s zoo. What do the zoo’s bears make of this? And what about the zoo’s vets? And what about public opinion?

  14. Talkback for sale

    In Israel, readers of online newspapers love commenting on what they just read. This is known as “talkback”. Today’s article discusses how politicians and commercial firms use “talkback”.

  15. Who are you, ”talkbacker”?

    Should “talkbackers” be allowed to write whatever they like, even if it is offensive? If these comments are offensive, should it be possible to force the internet site to reveal the blogger’s name? And how does this affect free speech?

  16. Who likes ecology?

    How can a huge trash pile be turned into a national park? How can rubbish be used to make furniture, shirts and even energy? This lesson’s text describes an important Israeli ecological project.

  17. All about olim and employment

    It is not always easy to integrate into a new country. It is sometimes especially hard to find work. This is certainly true for Israel’s new immigrants. We’ll read about an Israeli project that is trying to deal with these issues.

  18. Why are we sad in winter?

    Many people suffer from so called “winter depression”. What is winter depression? What are its symptoms? Why does it exist? How can it be overcome? Do people, even in hot Israel, also suffer from it? That’s what this lesson is about.

  19. Geese have rights too

    In Israel, as in many other places in the world, geese are fattened in order to increase their liver size. Animal rights groups claim that this process causes intolerable suffering to the geese and should be outlawed. This lesson’s text looks at Israeli public discussion on this issue.

  20. I’m a feminist!

    Why is it that Eden Halili, a nineteen-year-old Kibbutznik, doesn’t want to join the army? We’ll read an article in which Eden explains her feminist ideology.

  21. What are Israelis searching for in India?

    Israeli youngsters love traveling the world for months, sometimes years, at a time. Many travel to the Far East, especially India. What are they looking for? And when they’re there – what do they find?

  22. Who likes to read the bible?

    In this lesson we will read a short excerpt from the Bible – about the tower of Babel. We’ll remind ourselves why there are so many languages in the world, and look at the special language of the Bible and how it compares to modern Hebrew.

  23. Anyone for Jewish legends?

    In this lesson we’ll read a few examples of traditional Jewish legends. We’ll read about a mosquito, a frog and a fox and try to understand what Jewish scholars thought about humanity and humankind’s relation to the world.

  24. Bialik, the national poet

    Haim Nachman Bialik is considered to be Israel’s “national poet”. In this lesson we will read some of his poems and study the relationship between Bialik and the country of Israel.

  25. Rachel the poet

    One of the most popular poets in Israel is Rachel. She wrote about life in Israel before the state was established, about the Kinneret, the Golan and the biblical matriarch Rachel. We’ll read a selection of her poems in this class.

  26. Yehuda Amichai’s “tayarim”

    Perhaps Israel’s most loved poet is Yehuda Amichai. In this class we will read a poem/prose piece called “Tayarim”. This poem offers an insight into Amichai’s humane outlook.

  27. Ravikovitch’s loves

    Dahlia Ravikovitch is another beloved Israeli poet. In this lesson we will read her poems and learn what she thought of love: romantic love and motherly love.

  28. Two stories about shadows

    In this lesson we’ll read two short stories written by Israeli author Yosl Birstein. He lived for many years in Jerusalem, loved the city and wrote many short stories about it, its streets, its buses and its inhabitants.

  29. Where do you pray on Yom Kippur?

    Israel’s many ancient synagogues can tell us a lot about the land’s settlement and architecture. In this lesson we’ll read about a few interesting synagogues.

  30. What is a Jerusalem Hanukah lamp?

    Why is it worthwhile visiting Jerusalem and walking through its neighborhoods during Hanukah? Well the answer is that in Jerusalem’s religious neighborhoods there is a tradition of lighting special menorahs and streets are full of Hanukah lights.

  31. The blossoming almond tree

    Why do we eat dried fruit on the 15th of Shvat? When was this festival first celebrated? How was it celebrated in Europe? What is the “amendment for the night of the 15th of Shvat”?

  32. Why do we wear costumes on Purim?

    Purim is the most joyous festival in the Jewish year: fancy dress, eating and drinking. This lesson’s text explores Purim’s origins.

  33. Why is this night different?

    Passover, the time when the whole family sits together around the Seder table, is perhaps the most family-oriented festival of all. This lesson’s article discusses Pesach’s origins, the Haggadah, traditions and customs.

  34. A farewell song

    This is the last lesson of the course, so we will be saying our farewells. We’ll read a song, sung by Israeli singer Chava Alberstein. One line of the song reads “Now we can say shalom and part in song”.

Full Syllabus

Meet Our Scholars

Learn from our distinguished scholars, experts in biblical studies with advanced degrees from leading universities around the globe.

Eliyahu (Eli) Lizorkin Eyzenberg, Ph.D.
Annie Caruso, M.A.
Stephen Kim
Verónica Moreno Arjona, PhD candidate
Don Peterman, MAJCS, Rabbi
Marvin Meital, PhD
Fiona Blumfield MA, PhD

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