University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


The minor in Hebrew 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 Hebrew language and may complement the student's intended major study. 

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

Students minoring in Hebrew must satisfy the lower division prerequisite requirements. Students may also take a language proficiency exam to waive the elementary and intermediate language courses. Please meet with the undergraduate major advisor to discuss course options and for study abroad plans. 

Declaring the Minor

Students may declare the Hebrew minor as soon as they begin their course study. Please find the minor declaration form in the Near Eastern Studies Department. Students must declare the minor no later than the semester before their Expected Graduation Term (EGT). Please see the L&S minor guidelines for more information. 

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 Hebrew minor requires five upper-division courses in Hebrew literature and culture or history. 

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared no later than one semester before a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If the semester before EGT is fall or spring, the deadline is the last day of RRR week. If the semester before EGT is summer, the deadline is the final Friday of Summer Sessions. To declare a minor, contact the department advisor for information on requirements, and the declaration process.
  2. All courses taken to satisfy the minor requirement must be taken for a letter grade and be at least 3 units.

  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in order to declare and complete the minor. 

  4. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor program.
  5. With the prior consent of the faculty major advisor, students may take courses across various disciplines to satisfy the Arabic culture and history requirement. 

Minor Requirements

Lower Division
HEBREW 1AElementary Hebrew5
HEBREW 1BElementary Hebrew5
HEBREW 20AIntermediate Hebrew5
HEBREW 20BIntermediate Hebrew5
Upper Division
Hebrew Language and Literature
HEBREW 100AAdvanced Hebrew3
HEBREW 100BAdvanced Hebrew3
HEBREW 104AModern Hebrew Literature and Culture3
HEBREW 104BModern Hebrew Literature and Culture3
Hebrew Culture and History
One 1-semester course in Hebrew culture/history 13
NE STUD 135Literature and History in the Hebrew Bible4
NE STUD 153Synagogues, Cathedrals, and Mosques: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain4
NE STUD 190CSpecial Topics in Fields of Near Eastern Studies: Jewish Studies4
HISTORY 100MSpecial Topics in the History of the Middle East4
HISTORY 109CThe Middle East From the 18th Century to the Present4
HISTORY 175BJews in the Modern World4
HISTORY C175BJewish Civilization: Modern Period4
JEWISH 100Introduction to Jewish Religion, Culture, and People4
JEWISH 120Special Topics in Jewish Studies: Jewish Folklore3
JEWISH 121Topics in Jewish Arts and Culture4
JEWISH 122Topics in Judaism3-4
JEWISH 123Israeli Society: Social Structure, Inequality, and Political Cleavages3
Total Units80-81



Faculty and Instructors


Azza Ahmad, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Arabic Languages, CMES.

Wali Ahmadi, Associate Professor. Persian languages, Persian literature.
Research Profile

Asad Ahmed, Associate Professor. Islam (social and intellectual history).
Research Profile

Adam Benkato, Professor. Iranian Studies, Senior Research Scholar at CMES.

Daniel Boyarin, Professor. Talmud, rhetoric, Christianity, genealogy of, invention of Judaism.
Research Profile

Simon Brelaud, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Assyrian Studies, Syriac Language.

Ahmad Diab, Assistant Professor. Modern Arabic Literature.
Research Profile

Ronald Hendel, Professor. Textual criticism, Hebrew bible, ancient Near Eastern religion and mythology, Northwest Semitic linguistics.
Research Profile

Chana Kronfeld, Professor. Comparative literature, modernism, Hebrew, Yiddish, modern poetry, minor literatures, politics of literary history, feminist stylistics, intertextuality, translation studies.
Research Profile

Margaret Larkin, Professor. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Rita Lucarelli, Associate Professor. Near Eastern Studies, Egyptology.
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Maria Mavroudi, Professor. Byzantine studies.
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Nasser Meerkhan, Assistant Professor. Near Eastern Studies, and Spanish and Portuguese.

Benjamin Porter, Associate 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.
Research Profile

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


Rutie Adler, Lecturer.

Hatem A. Bazian, Lecturer. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Elsa Elmahdy, Lecturer.

Gholam-Reza Ghahramani, Lecturer.

John L. Hayes, 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.

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.

Chava Boyarin, Professor Emeritus.

Wolfgang J. Heimpel, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

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


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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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