University of Sydney Handbooks - 2016 Archive

Download full 2016 archive Page archived at: Fri, 13 May 2016 14:40:28 +1000

Hebrew (Modern)

The Hebrew (Modern) Program is taught by the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies within the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC).

About the major

In the Modern Hebrew major you will develop the ability to use Modern Hebrew; namely to speak, read, and write in Modern Hebrew. The language you will use is, primarily, spoken daily speech; yet over the course of the major you will have opportunities to study a range of genres and text types both spoken and written, from media to prose and poetry. By the end of your major you will have mastered the ability to use Modern Hebrew in a wide variety of contexts and situations and you will gain an understanding of how to discuss and analyse the linguistic features of Modern Hebrew, as well as the literature and culture associated with the language. Career opportunities include teaching the language at both primary and secondary school levels; employment within Hebrew speaking communities and organisations; translation.

The Modern Hebrew Program offers several entry points depending on your previous knowledge and usage of the language. Following the completion of a placement test, you are directed to the unit best suited for your level of knowledge. Once in the program you will enjoy a clear learning progression.

Pathway through the major

A major in Hebrew (Modern) requires at least 36 senior credit points, including at least six credit points at 3000 level.

The units of study for the major can be found in the Table A unit of study table for Hebrew (Modern). The table shows units of study on offer in the current handbook year. You may find information regarding a full list of units of study available to the major on the departmental website.

Junior units of study (1000 level)

Junior units of study (1000 level) provide an introduction to the Hebrew alphabet, alongside conversing, reading, and writing in simple everyday Hebrew. If you have no previous knowledge of Modern Hebrew you will enrol in HBRW1011 and HBRW1102 respectively. These two junior units are equivalent to the first part of level A (the first, of six levels) of Modern Hebrew instruction at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Senior units of study (2000 and 3000 level)

As you progress in your usage and knowledge of Modern Hebrew and move into the senior units of study, your oral communication skills continue to be fostered, and you have further opportunities to engage in a variety of genres and text types from higher registers of the language.

In senior-intermediate units of study (2000 level) you further develop your language skills and engage in a wider range of text types. Units HBRW2603 and HBRW2604 are equivalent to levels A / B of Modern Hebrew instruction at the Hebrew University.

In senior-advanced (3000 level) units of study you progressively engage with higher registers of the language and read and analyse short stories (requiring an assignment component in Modern Hebrew), and you begin to engage with non-modified Modern Hebrew text types. Units HBRW3610 and HBRW3611 are equivalent to the level C at the Hebrew University. In HBRW3612, HBRW3613 (equivalent to levels D / E at the Hebrew University), you extend the level and repertoire of your oral presentations, which now include a component of individual research (in Modern Hebrew); the range and variety of non-modified texts you are exposed to is extended; and the written analysis of literature is extended to 300 and 500 words respectively.

Whichever sequence you follow, you enjoy a progressive increase of usage and knowledge of Modern Hebrew, as well as (linguistic) knowledge about Modern Hebrew. Furthermore, you are introduced to a widening corpus of written and literary texts.


To qualify for honours, you need to have successfully completed 48 senior credit points with an average of 70 percent or above including 36 senior credit points from HBRW2603 - HBRW3613. An example of a common combination of units for honours is made up of HBRW2603 - HBRW3613. An honours year affords you an even broader exposure to Modern Hebrew which involves a high level usage of the language as well as a deeper understanding and knowledge of its linguistic features. Honours culminates with the completion of a research thesis on a topic of your choice, which you can write in either English or Hebrew.

Contact/further information

Program website:

Course Coordinator: Dr Yona Gilead
Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies
Room 625, Brennan MacCallum Building A18
Phone: +61 2 9351 4829

or contact the SLC office: