Hebrew class – Language and Politics of Israeli Society and The Conflict

Sundays 7-9pm, 15th January to 2nd April, East London venue (Whitechapel)

Bruchim Habaim!

This Hebrew course will explore language and politics in Israel-Palestine: how they connect and interact with each other in the context of Israeli society and its intersection with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We will be learning Modern Hebrew both linguistically and also through interrogations of themes related to cleavages in Israeli society, issues of class, race, gender, identity, history, and their interplay with the conflict. There will be topics covering (but not by any means limited to) questions like: how can different ways of speaking Hebrew be subversive to hegemonies in Israeli society? What is it like for Palestinians to speak Hebrew and what does that mean for them (and us)? What are some forgotten bits of Mizrahi anti-Zionist writing? How does Israeli media use language to form its narratives? What sorts of language dynamics exist in mixed cities in Israel?  What does it mean to learn and speak Hebrew in a diasporist context, in a way that affirms a Judaism that does not need a nation state to ground it? How do we decolonize language? And many more…

The course will be formed on the basis of the levels of students who sign up. The class is geared towards those seeking to build their knowledge of the language – whether from scratch or from an already existing foundation – and enrich it by delving critically into how Hebrew manifests itself in different and unexpected ways and what that can reveal to us about society and politics in Israel-Palestine as well as diasporic Jewish life. There can be a great deal of discretion and tailoring of content according to what students want, so feel free to bring in any ideas – seriously! Any interesting bit of Hebrew music, poetry, a manifesto, slogan, newspaper clipping, speech, video, film clip, etc. from whatever time period, or anything else that you think relates to the course in some useful way is very welcome. The class is supposed to be fun and hands on and not tediously academic, but I want everyone to hopefully come away with not only a knowledge of Hebrew but also a greater understanding of some of the critical facets of Israel-Palestine and diasporist Hebrew culture and be able to explore them through the Hebrew language. This is not meant to be daunting; rather, it’s meant to quench your thirst to get your linguistic feet wet in interesting and unorthodox ways. Behatzlachah!

For registration and enquiries email babelsblessing@gmail.com!

3 thoughts on “Hebrew

  1. Pingback: register for Yiddish, Hebrew & British Sign Language classes 2016 – and help us train the next generation of radical ESOL teachers | Babel's Blessing

  2. Im interested in your Hebrew classes, but I couldn’t see on you web site when or where it is?, please pass on the details.


    • hi Tania, that info is on the Registration page – click the link at the bottom of this page that says “Register here”. Hebrew classes will be on Sunday evenings 5.30- 7.30pm, at Common House, Bethnal Green. The first class will be January 17th and the final class March 27th (10 classes in total as there will be a half term break in the middle).


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