University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


The Hebrew minor introduces students to the language, peoples, cultures, and histories of the modern Hebrew-speaking world. The minor develops the student's command of reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension in the modern Hebrew language and may complement the student's intended major study. 

Students wishing to major in the study of Hebrew should see the major requirements in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures

The Hebrew minor offers two options. Option A is open to students with little or no background in the language. Option B is for students who have completed the equivalent of two years of university-level coursework in the language. For specific information regarding the requirements for each option, please see the Minor Requirements tab on this page.

Declaring the Minor

Students may petition to add the Hebrew minor as soon as they begin their study of Hebrew. Please submit the Petition to Complete the Minor form to the undergraduate student adviser. 

Other Majors and Minors offered by the Department of Near Eastern Studies

Ancient Egyptian Near Eastern Art and Archaeology (Major)
Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Civilizations (Major)  
Near Eastern Languages and Literatures (Major)
Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Civilizations (Minor)
Arabic (Minor)
Hebrew (Minor)
Persian (Minor)
Turkish (Minor)

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Minor Requirements

The minor requires five upper-division courses in Hebrew literature and culture. Students may overlap one course from their major in order to complete the Hebrew minor requirements. 

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill major requirements must be taken for a letter grade and be at least 3 units
  2. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements. 
  3. With the prior consent of the major adviser, students may take courses across various disciplines to fulfill minor requirements. 

Minor Requirements

Open to students with no background in the language.

Lower Division
HEBREW 1AElementary Hebrew5
HEBREW 1BElementary Hebrew5
HEBREW 20AIntermediate Hebrew5
HEBREW 20BIntermediate Hebrew5
Upper Division
HEBREW 100AAdvanced Hebrew3
HEBREW 100BAdvanced Hebrew3
HEBREW 104AModern Hebrew Literature and Culture3
HEBREW 104BModern Hebrew Literature and Culture3
One 1-semester course in Hebrew culture/history 13
Total Units35

The undergraduate major adviser may approve external department substitution courses for the culture/history requirement.



Faculty and Instructors


Wali Ahmadi, Associate Professor. Persian languages, Persian literature.
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Asad Ahmed, Associate Professor. Islam (social and intellectual history).
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Daniel Boyarin, Professor. Talmud, rhetoric, Christianity, genealogy of, invention of Judaism.
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Ahmad Diab, Assistant Professor. Modern Arabic Literature.

Ronald Hendel, Professor. Textual criticism, Hebrew bible, ancient Near Eastern religion and mythology, Northwest Semitic linguistics.
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Chana Kronfeld, Professor. Comparative literature, modernism, Hebrew, Yiddish, modern poetry, minor literatures, politics of literary history, feminist stylistics, intertextuality, translation studies.
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Margaret Larkin, Professor. Near Eastern studies.
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Rita Lucarelli, Associate Professor. Egyptology.
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Sabrina Sonia Maras, Assistant Adjunct Professor.

Maria Mavroudi, Professor. Byzantine studies.
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Benjamin Porter, Assistant Professor. Archaeology, Near Eastern archaeology, Middle East, Arid Environments, anthropology, Heritage, tourism, and Museum Studies.
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Carol A. Redmount, Associate Professor. Egyptology.
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Carol Redmount, Associate Professor. Near Eastern Studies.

Francesca Rochberg, Professor. History of science, ancient near east, cuneiform studies.
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Niek Veldhuis, Professor. Digital humanities, intellectual history, Sumerian, cuneiform.
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Rutie Adler, Lecturer.

Hatem A. Bazian, Lecturer. Near Eastern studies.
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Chava Boyarin, Lecturer.

Elsa Elmahdy, Lecturer.

Gholam-Reza Ghahramani, Lecturer.

John L. Hayes, Lecturer.

Lissette M. Jimenez, Lecturer.

Nawal M. Laymoun, Lecturer.

Sanjyot Mehendale, Lecturer. Near Eastern studies, Central Asia, Central Asian studies, archaeology and art history.
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Haitham S. Mohamed, Lecturer.

Laurie Pearce, Lecturer.

Barbara Richter, Lecturer.

Jason Christopher Vivrette, Lecturer.

Visiting Faculty

Manuel Duarte De Oliveira, Visiting Professor.

Emeritus Faculty

Ayla Algar, Lecturer Emeritus. Turkish language and literature, language pedagogy.

Hamid Algar, Professor Emeritus.

Robert B. Alter, Professor Emeritus. Comparative literature, Near Eastern studies, 19th-century European and American novel, modernism, literary aspects of the bible, modern and biblical Hebrew literature.
Research Profile

Guitty Azarpay, Professor Emeritus. Art and archaeology of the ancient Near East and Central Asia.
Research Profile

Ariel A. Bloch, Professor Emeritus.

Wolfgang J. Heimpel, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
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Anne D. Kilmer, Professor Emeritus.

David Larkin, Lecturer Emeritus. Egyptology.

James T. Monroe, Professor Emeritus.

Jaleh Pirnazar, Lecturer Emeritus. Modern Iranian history. Persian language and literature, Iranian Cinema.

Martin Schwartz, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Muhammad Siddiq, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

David B. Stronach, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Department of Near Eastern Studies

250 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3757

Fax: 510-643-8430


Visit Department Website

Department Chair and Associate Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History

Francesca Rochberg, PhD

262 Barrows Hall


Undergraduate Faculty Advisor for Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Islamic Studies and Professor of Persian Literature

Wali Ahmadi, PhD

284 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3757


Undergraduate Student Advisor

Rania Shah, MA

250 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3758


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