About the Department


Department of Hebrew and Semitic Languages at Bar-Ilan University offers courses in Hebrew, other Semitic languages and Assyriology.

Studies in Hebrew are aimed at qualifying students in the following fields, among others: Biblical Hebrew, Mishnaic Hebrew, Medieval Hebrew, traditions of Hebrew, Modern Hebrew, Hebrew and Jewish languages; phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, lexicology, lexicography, contact linguistics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, onomastics.

In the Semitic languages various dialects of Aramaic are taught, including Biblical Aramaic, Jewish Palestinian Aramaic and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, in addition to other ancient Semitic languages. Studies in Assyriology include studies of Akkadian and Sumerian in cuneiform and in transliteration.

Why study Hebrew and Semitic Languages?
Language is not just a means for communication. It is also an expression of culture, history, and perception. The Hebrew language, thanks to its unique background and the fact that it is the language of the bible, the most influential book in human history, Hebrew is all of those things and more. Learning about the Hebrew language and its origins, alongside its Semitic sisters, both past and present, allows us to comprehend the evolution of these languages, as well as the origins of their grammar and vocabulary.
Why choose Hebrew at Bar-Ilan?
Because of the Department
The Department of Hebrew and Semitic Languages at Bar-Ilan University is one of the largest, most appreciated departments in Israel.  Studies in the Department focus on the Hebrew language and all its aspects and forms, from the biblical Hebrew and its ancestors to today's spoken language. We view Hebrew is a dynamic, ever-changing, living language, drawing words and phrases from various sources, constantly shifting between street slang and formal uses, influencing and influenced by its surroundings.
Because of the study track offering
The Departments offers a B.A, an M.A. and a Ph.d. in Hebrew Language in several study tracks. The B.A. track includes courses in such as Hebrew Language and Assyriology. Students at the M.A. study track can choose between a Thesis study track, a Non-Thesis study track, and a condensed study track for Language Editors' Program graduates. Other courses in all tracks include Semitic language courses, punctuation, grammar, language history, and others.
Because of the unique academic Program
The Department aims to expand and enrich its students' knowledge in the Hebrew and Semitic languages throughout history, and does so by including courses in the academic Program from related Departments, such as Hebrew Literature, Bible and Talmud Studies, Arabic, Classical Studies, English Linguistics and History of Israel.
Because of the courses only Bar-Ilan offers
As part of the Department's courses, we offer a vast variety of interesting courses unique to this study track, such as biblical texts, diction, history of linguistics, Aramaic, semantics, and modern linguistics, alongside Seminars in Classical and Modern Hebrew and Medieval linguistics.
Because Language can become your profession
The Department of Hebrew and Semitic Languages trains teachers to teach in middle schools and high schools, and prepares students for careers of research and academic teaching. Department graduates are also offered a variety of certification study tracks, such as language editing, translation, journalism and communications, all in high demand in publication houses and the printed and electronic media.