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Modern Hebrew is the native language of approximately 6 million people world wide. It is mostly spoken in Israel and it is widely taught in the United States and across the world, particularly in Jewish day schools. It is the language of the Old Testament and the Mishna and is crucial for understanding religious and political developments in the ancient and modern world. Reading the Bible in the original language can contribute greatly to the understanding of fine details in analyses of religious texts as well as aid the actual interpretation of these religious texts.

Hebrew as a language carries a fascinating history and can help understand much about the development of civilization in the ancient Near East as well as shed light on the shaping of politics, culture and society in the modern Middle East. Understanding Israeli culture helps contribute to the understanding of the role that Israel plays in the Middle East as well as its function in the global political picture.

Israel is the historic center of the three monotheistic religions. Jerusalem is still a main center for religious pilgrimage and the Sea of Galilee, Beth Lehem and Nazareth still serve as centers for pilgrimage for Christians. Israel has played a major role in the birth of Judeo-Christian civilization and whether you are traveling to Israel to enjoy the sites of the Ancient Near East and other famous places like the Dead Sea, or to experience the more modern life of Tel Aviv, or whether you desire to read the ancient texts in their original language, learning Hebrew at Emory will help you build your linguistic background to enable you to function in Israel and communicate with the locals.

For people traveling to Israel on either business or pleasure, understanding the language and the culture of the people is becoming increasingly important. Learning Hebrew at Emory will expose the student to both language and culture that will potentially aid the student in dealing with Israeli life and culture.

Israel has become one of the leading forces in technological and high-tech development in the world. Now, more than ever before, Israel is a major high-tech center with hundreds of high-tech companies investing in Israel. Israel boasts major centers of companies such as IBM, Intel, Google and Motorola among many others. Israel is at the forefront of business and management and boasts one of the fastest growing high-tech markets in the Middle East and the world. Business and trade between Israel and the United States is growing at an accelerated pace with more and more business deals and transactions occurring.

Studying Hebrew will strengthen your linguistic skills and prepare you for:

  • Business opportunities for major corporation such as IBM, Motorola and Google.
  • Communicating with the locals in Israel while visiting.
  • Read the Bible in the original language.
  • Read other ancient texts written in Hebrew.
  • Introduce you to the only success story of language planning and revival.