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Meir Shalev to Discuss the Revival, and Challenging Survival, of the Hebrew Language

Updated: Jan 27, 2019

Announcement by the Center for Israel Studies

"Between Antiquity and Modernity - Can the Hebrew Language Survive its Revival?" with Meir Shalev

Monday, December 3, 7:00-8:30 PM

Abramson Family Founders Room, SIS Building

Free with RSVP:

On Monday, December 3rd, Israeli writer Meir Shalev, one of Israel’s best-known novelists and a columnist for Israel’s most popular newspaper, the Yediot Ahronot, will visit American University for the discussion: “Between Antiquity and Modernity: Can the Hebrew Language Survive its Own Revival?” Co-sponsored by AU’s Center for Israel Studies (CIS) and AU’s Department of Literature, Meir Shalev will be discussing the sustainability of the revival of the Hebrew language.

The Hebrew language had three main periods (Biblical, Mishnaic, Medieval) before it ended as a spoken language. It was relegated to being a sacred language used only in religious contexts.There were aspirations to revive it during the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment), and began to be used during the first two Aliyahs. It is essentially the only language that practically died and was resurrected, and is now spoken by millions in Israel and abroad. Imagine if millions of people started speaking Ancient Latin as their primary or secondary language.

Now we are in a season of history in which many languages are dying as globalization and westernization contributes to the obscuring of languages spoken by smaller amounts of people. Meir Shalev will talk in depth about this process and the survival of the Hebrew Language on Monday, December 3rd.

Free with RSVP:

AU students, Faculty, and Friends of the Center are welcome to join us. A dessert reception and book sale/signing by Meir Shalev will follow the discussion. Contact Laura Cutler with any questions:, 202-885-3780

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