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Oriental Studies – Hebrew Studies

The Department of Hebrew Studies became a separate unit of the Institute of Oriental Studies in 1990. Until then, between 1977 and 1990, Hebrew studies used to be part of the Chair of Ancient Near Eastern and Hebrew Studies headed by Prof. Witold Tyloch. The Chair was separated into three autonomous departments in 1990, the Department of Hebrew Studies being one of them.

The Department of Hebrew Studies offers a three-year first-cycle course and a two-year second-cycle course. An intensive course of Modern Hebrew is taught for the entire duration of these studies as a compulsory subject. The Department educates specialists in Classical and Modern Hebrew, Classical and Modern Hebrew literature, classical and modern Jewish thought, and social and cultural aspects of modern Israel.

The teaching programme of the Department is unique in that Modern Hebrew is central to its educational approach. Modern Hebrew is perceived as the key which opens doors to numerous research fields, such as literature, linguistics, history, Judaism, and cultural studies, and as a practical tool useful in the modern international business environment.

Therefore, the Department puts major effort into continuously developing its language teaching methodology by means of employing innovative methods and tailor-made curricula created by experienced teachers aware of the shortcomings of traditional syllabi, who offer solutions to problems experienced by students. Thus, the Department of Hebrew Studies offers language courses which effectively use all the tools available to a modern language teacher, including mass media, social media, popular culture, literary texts, cinema, etc. Second-cycle students have the opportunity to attend more complex courses, e.g., in Hebrew literature, Israeli cinema, or translation workshops, to further develop their linguistic, cultural, and social consciousness. Due to this holistic approach, which develops language knowledge simultaneously with cultural sensitivity, the Department hopes to provide its graduates with useful, authentic knowledge and skills that are in high demand.

The Department of Hebrew Studies conducts research in the following fields:

  • Classical Hebrew and Biblical studies
  • Early Hebrew epigraphy
  • Sociological aspects in the Hebrew Bible
  • The political system of Ancient Israel
  • Aramaic and Targumic studies
  • Neo-Aramaic dialects
  • The development of Semitic languages
  • Hebrew glottodidactics
  • Modern Hebrew literature
  • Modern Jewish thought
  • Social and cultural issues of modern Israel
  • Hebrew philology

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