Hebrew

The Modern Hebrew program at Duke stresses content learning and communication while focusing on the salient linguistic characteristics of Hebrew. The content-driven curriculum is developed and taught exclusively by faculty members who are native Hebrew speakers and utilizes innovative materials developed at Duke as well as external materials widely recognized to be the "golden standard" in the teaching of Hebrew as a foreign language. The 4-year program offers students of all levels—from true novices to fluent heritage students—the opportunity to acquire and fine tune their linguistic command of the Hebrew language in multiple registers.

Hebrew Placement Guidelines

Placement in a Hebrew language class follows the AMES department placement policy.

Self-Assessment Guidelines

Please use the following guidelines to determine if you need to take a placement test.  If you are unsure about whether or not you need to take a placement test—or if you have answered "yes" to any of the following questions—please contact Shelli Plesser, the Hebrew program coordinator, at ivritbeduke@gmail.com

Do any of the following apply to you?
  • I have a parent or grandparent who speaks/spoke Hebrew to me
  • I have lived in Israel for more than 3 months at some point in my life
  • I have taken an Ulpan class either in Israel or another country
  • I went to Hebrew school
  • I was Bar/Bat Mitzvaed
  • I know the Aleph-Beit (Print and/or Script)
  • I can read with vowels

Hebrew Language Resources

First things first; sites for Hebrew fonts:

Somewhere on this site, we hear there's a Hebrew dictionary. Check it out and send us back comments:

One of our favorite Duke sites:

The ultra-rightwing radio station from the settlements (arutz sheva) has audio material from the Western Wall. We like the clip from the Six-Day War for its historical value, and can't really recommend the rest. But listen for yourself:

We hear there's stuff here on Hebrew literature.

A place to look for Hebrew books:

Interested in studying at an Israeli University for a year? Here are links to the overseas programs on the four largest Israeli universities:

Israeli portal:

Hebrew Program Faculty

Hebrew Language Coordinator

Shelli Plesser

Hebrew Program Faculty

  • Shai Ginsburg, Associate Professor
  • Shelli Plesser, Lecturer