The undergraduate Hebrew minor program develops appreciation for both the Hebrew Bible and Modern Hebrew.
Biblical Hebrew students develop appreciation for the Hebrew Bible and competence to read prose and poetry. The program is designed to provide students with habits of study so that they may enjoy a life-long exploration of the Hebrew Bible. The program is calculated (together with the Ancient Near Eastern Studies major) to prepare students for further study in graduate programs and other career options. Biblical Hebrew students gain a heightened sensitivity of their own scriptural tradition, an awareness of the contributions of ancient prophets, and the formation and transmission of the Hebrew Bible.
Students of Modern Hebrew gain access to the spoken language of the State of Israel and many Jews throughout the world. Within Israel, Modern Hebrew is utilized in theaters, television and radio, schools, synagogues, business establishments, government offices, and in everyday street conversation. Written Modern Hebrew is featured on signs, stamps, coins, newspapers, journals, books, and magazines. It is through a community’s language that one gains a better understanding of that community’s culture, customs, and overall way of life. When conditions permit, BYU offers an Intensive Hebrew Study program under the auspices of its Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies in Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem Center
The Jerusalem Center is Brigham Young University's center for study in Jerusalem. Students enroll through the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, travel to the Holy Land, and live in the Center for programs that extend for four months. Students study a core curriculum that focuses on Old and New Testament, ancient and modern Near Eastern studies, and language (Hebrew and Arabic). Classroom study is built around field trips that cover the length and breadth of the Holy Land.
The Center itself is a beautiful building on Mount Scopus overlooking the Mount of Olives, the Kidron Valley, and the Old City. The 125,000 square-foot, eight-level structure is set amid five acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. The first five levels (moving up from the lowest level) provide dormitory and apartment space for up to 170 students. Dormitory rooms accommodate four people with ample study space and a private bath. Each of these rooms has a patio overlooking the Old City. The sixth level houses a cafeteria, classrooms, computer facilities, and a gymnasium. Administrative and faculty offices are located on the seventh level, as is a 250-seat auditorium. The main entry is on the eighth level, which also contains a spectacular recital and special events auditorium with organ, lecture rooms, general and reserve libraries, offices, a domed theater, and a learning resource area.