Study Hebrew in Israel

Program Dates & Prices

Information not yet available for upcoming sessions. See a summary of Dates & Prices for all programs

About the School

The Jerusalem Study Center is located in East Jerusalem, a short distance from the Damascus Gate of Old Jerusalem, the Garden Tomb, the Albright Institute and the Ecole Biblique. The Center is set up with comfortable dormitory rooms, and a good-sized classroom, a basketball court, and a lovely garden. Three daily meals are provided at the center.

The local time in Jerusalem during the summer is seven hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, ten hours ahead of Pacific Daylight Time in the USA.

Local Climate

Summer months in Jerusalem run from May to September. While Jerusalem summers can get very hot and dry, the heat is usually bearable. The daytime heat is usually relieved by balmy evenings. Jerusalem is located among the hills of central Israel at a comfortable altitude of 2,500 feet above sea level.

What to Expect

The intensive six-week format is a full-time endeavor – classes for three hours per day and homework for the rest of the day, six days per week. All course work will comply with standard college/university requirements and will serve students well as they plan careers in pastoral work and/or teaching.

While tours can be exotic, intriguing, and a lot of fun, intensive international educational experiences make heavy demands on participants. We are studying the material we would normally cover in three quarters (or two semesters) in the space of six weeks. During the normal week of study, this translates into long days, hard work, concentration, regular and punctual class attendance (every day missed is a week!).

At the same time, there will be opportunity during the day for other kinds of activities. In addition, we will take usually one day per week for travel around the country and, of course, Sabbath will be set aside for rest, worship, etc. Part of the ACA experience is to become immersed in the culture of the country where you reside. You will have plenty of opportunity to participate in scores of memorable activities surrounding you in and around Jerusalem.

Academic Requirements

Prerequisites for the course in Biblical Hebrew (graduate and undergraduate courses) – 6 weeks:

  • Full sophomore status or higher
  • Completion of collegiate English sequence with a GPA of at least 2.75
  • Overall college GPA of at least 2.5
  • Letter of recommendation from Dean/Chair of the School/Department, reflecting religion faculty discussion and opinion.

Required Excursions

During the course of the study program, there will be several excursions to various sites in Jerusalem and more broadly in the country of Israel. These trips will include an overnight visit to sites in the region of Galilee and day trips to the coastal plain and central and southern Israel. Students will find these excursions extremely enriching, as they will become immersed in the culture and history of the country as they study the language.

All outings are designated as cultural tours and are an integral part of the instructional program. Students’ participation and positive attitude are expected on these tours.

What to Bring

From the Study Center, students will find downtown Jerusalem readily accessible on foot, by tram, or taxi. All amenities are available, but may be costly. Therefore, please bring your own essential things.

  • Comfortable everyday clothing. For class and most daily situations, you may have light, comfortable clothes. Modest shorts and tee-shirts are fine in the study center and most places in Israel, but visits to religious sites (Christian, Jewish or Muslim) will require full covering. It is courteous to cover shoulders and knees. Light jackets could be useful for evening walks.
  • Dress and Sport Clothes: Students are guests in Israel and will be involved in worship and other kinds of services on occasion, so bring along some semi-formal clothes such as shirts and pants/skirts. You will also want to have some sport clothes and comfortable walking shoes for touring trips. Emphasis is on light-weight and low-maintenance.
  • Swimwear: You will have occasion to swim in the Sea of Galilee and in the Dead Sea, so bring a modest swim suit.
  • Laundry: To save money, bring easily washed clothing and you can do your own laundry. A washing machine is available on campus, and it’s free, one load per week.
  • Insect repellent can help ward off mosquitoes and other pests.
  • Travel Guide to Jerusalem/Israel: You may bring your own or you can borrow one from the professor.
  • Textbooks: Students are responsible to bring the books to Jerusalem, as they are difficult to obtain in Jerusalem. If your bookstore does not carry these books, you may order them from Amazon.com Required books are:
    • Page Kelley, Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar. Eerdmans
      (Grammar and not the Handbook). ISBN: 9780-8028-0578-0
    • Larry A. Mitchel, A Student’s Vocabulary for Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. Zondervan. ISBN 978-0310454618.
    • Note: Multiple copies of Hebrew-English Bibles and Hebrew-English dictionary are available at the Jerusalem Study Center ACA Library.
  • Medications: Skin moisturizers, Imodium A-D (or equivalent) to be taken preventively against or for occurrences of intestinal problems; standard pain relievers; sunburn treatment; lip salve; Band-aids; cough drops; cold medicine (many of these are available in Israel, although not necessarily your favorite brands and not as inexpensive as at home, but it will save you time and hassle if you bring them with you).
  • Electricity & Wifi: The current in the Middle East is 220 volts at 50 cycles per second (rather than 110 volts at 60 cycles, as in the US). You will be using an adapter that accommodates flat to round pronged plugs. The Jerusalem Study Center is wireless-equipped.
  • Licenses: There will be no occasion to drive while in Israel. If one wishes to drive, some car rental businesses will require an international driver’s license, available through AAA offices everywhere in the U.S.A.
  • Personal Funds: It is advisable to carry at least some cash in small dollar bills which can easily be exchanged for local currency. Most people use debit cards with pins to withdraw cash from ATMs. Bring sufficient funds for any extra food you may want or for any additional expenses involving local travel, sundries and touristy things.
  • Cameras: Take many pics with your smart phone. If you bring digital cameras, take along some strong plastic bags to keep the dust away from your equipment.

Cultural Sensitivity

Without thinking too much about the culture shock most travelers to the Middle East experience, we can easily become the “ugly foreigners” everyone dreads to encounter. A good travel guide to Israel/Jerusalem has a section on social and cultural features. Take time to become acquainted with these customs so you can enjoy the wonderful world of the Middle East and its people.

As leaders of ACA, we seek to do our utmost to affirm and respect the values of our gracious hosts at our study center/hotel and of the surrounding community. We therefore make every effort to conduct our own personal lives in ways that are harmonious with the sensibilities of these kind people.

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which reflects an understanding of local culture and avoids giving offense. This requires taking personal responsibility for learning about the culture and practicing generosity, tolerance and genuine respect for the people who are the hosts as well as for each other in the class.

Planning Your Trip

Accommodations Before and After the Dates for the Course: Students wishing to come earlier and/or stay later than the class dates, must make their own arrangements directly with the the manager of the Study Center and pay separately.

Location/Directions

Students participating in the Hebrew program should fly into the Ben Gurion international airport in Tel Aviv.

Vaccinations

Valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate is required to enter Israel. You need to work on this in consultation with your physician.

Visa Information

A visa is NOT required for USA citizens. For other nationalities consult the respective consulates. . Please wait for the ACA official admittance email, before purchasing airfare.