Hebrew is an ancient Semitic language that has become a modern, vibrant language spoken by over 9 million people. Hebrew is the original language in which the Bible was written, and it is noteworthy that all Biblical words can be found in Modern Hebrew. A sampling of Hebrew words that can be found in English today include amen, hallelujah, jubilee, sabbatical, cherub, and many others. Elon University also has a Hebrew name: since the plot of land on which the college was built was filled with oak trees, Elon's founders chose the Hebrew word for oak tree, "Elon."
For years after the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE, Hebrew was especially used as a language of literary activity and prayer. It was revived as a spoken language in the 19th century, and it became the official language of the modern State of Israel in 1948.
Israel today is a world leader in research and technology, and corporations such as Apple, Intel, IBM, Motorola, GE, Microsoft, Johnson and Johnson and hundreds of others have a presence in Israel. Whether future employment in Israel, studying Scripture in its original language or conversing as a tourist with native Israelis is your goal, Hebrew study at Elon will set you on your way.
Elon's Hebrew program is housed in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, and courses in Hebrew may count towards Elon's minor in Jewish Studies or in Middle Eastern Studies. Elon also offers a number of opportunities to further one's study of Hebrew abroad, especially through Elon's partnership with the University of Haifa in Israel.