Both Modern Hebrew and Yiddish can be taken to fulfill the Arts & Sciences language requirement. 

To schedule a placement exam in Hebrew, contact Shalom Shoer at 

To schedule a placement exam in Yiddish, contact David Forman at

Modern Hebrew

Whether you are preparing for travel abroad or are passionate about achieving fluency in a language that is important to you, when studying Hebrew at Cornell you will be part of a close knit group of students and faculty. Courses are built to enhance not only contemporary communication skills, but also to give students a window through which to understand the past. So, join us in learning about the many aspects of Jewish and Israeli culture, society, literature and history!

Hebrew courses include:

  • HEBRW 1101 - Elementary Modern Hebrew I
  • HEBRW 1102 - Elementary Modern Hebrew II
  • HEBRW 1103 - Elementary Modern Hebrew III
  • HEBREW 1110 - Beginning Biblical Hebrew
  • HEBRW 2100 - Intermediate Modern Hebrew
  • HEBRW 3101 - Advanced Modern Hebrew I
  • HEBRW 3102 - Advanced Modern Hebrew II
  • HEBRW 4102 - Topics in Biblical Hebrew Prose


The everyday spoken language of Ashkenazi Jews for most of the last thousand years, Yiddish also gave birth to an extraordinary modern literature over a very short time. Weakened by assimilation and by great historical cataclysms, it nonetheless remains a living language. Its vocabulary contains the record of contradictions-- of homey warmth and uncompromising ideologies; of separatism and dialog with non-Jewish neighbors; of a deep textual tradition treated with both reverence and irony. Yiddish embodies the laughter and solidarity that have enabled Jews to survive and thrive, often as an oppressed minority, in Europe and elsewhere.

This three-course sequence fulfills the college language requirement.

Yiddish courses include:

  • JWST 1776 - Elementary Yiddish I
  • JWST 1777 - Elementary Yiddish II
  • JWST 1880 - Intermediate Yiddish I