NES welcomes new Hebrew instructor

July 6, 2020

The department welcomes Philip Hollander as a new Hebrew language instructor this fall. He will teach a new course on life in Israel, along with our advanced modern Hebrew courses.

Hollander has been teaching Hebrew language for more than 20 years, and is "thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the Cornell Hebrew Language Program, the Department of Near Eastern Studies, and the greater Ithaca community. Cornell is renowned for its high-quality students and the Hebrew Language Program is one of the country’s best." Teaching at Cornell brings him back to upstate New York, where he grew up.

After completing college, Hollander lived in Israel and served in the Israeli navy. He then went to graduate school and studied Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Columbia University in New York City. He has served as an assistant professor of Hebrew language and literature and Director of the Hebrew Language Program at Tulane University; an assistant professor of Israeli literature and culture at the University of Wisconsin; and an assistant professor of Hebrew at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.

While he has taught Hebrew language at all levels, he has focused on advanced Hebrew language instruction that draws on his experience as a Hebrew language learner, a Hebrew language teacher, and a researcher of Hebrew literature and culture. Hollander has designed Hebrew 3101 and Hebrew 3102 for students transitioning to use of authentic materials and working towards increased Hebrew language proficiency; Hebrew 3103 and Hebrew 3104 for students looking to learn about Israel through engagement with various forms of media and interested in acquiring greater ability to speak about current events in Israel; Hebrew 3105 and Hebrew 3108 for students interested in Israeli literature, film, and television, and looking to improve their Hebrew reading and listening skills.

Those curious about his research interests should feel free to take a look at his recent book From Schlemiel to Sabra: Zionist Masculinity and Palestinian Hebrew Literature (Indiana University Press, 2019).

Fall 2020 Hebrew language courses:

Elementary Modern Hebrew I (HEBRW 1101)

Shalom Shoer

Intended for beginners. Provides a thorough grounding in reading, writing, grammar, oral comprehension, and speaking. Students who complete the course are able to function in basic situations in a Hebrew-speaking environment.

Elementary Modern Hebrew III (HEBRW 1103)

Shalom Shoer

Sequel to HEBRW 1101-HEBRW 1102. Continued development of reading, writing, grammar, oral comprehension, and speaking skills.

Advanced Modern Hebrew I (HEBRW 3101)

Philip Hollander

Prerequisite:  Completion of HEBRW 2100 with a grade equivalent to C- or above or permission of instructor.

Advanced study of the Hebrew Language both orally and through the analysis of mostly unedited texts of social, political, and cultural relevance with less emphasis on the study of grammar. Students are introduced to articles published in Israeli newspapers, magazines, works by authors and movies. Students develop composition and advanced writing skills by studying language structure, idioms, and various registers of style.

Advanced Hebrew Through Langauge, Media and Literature (HEBRW 3104)

Philip Hollander

Prerequisite: HEBRW 3101, HEBRW 3102 or permission of instructor.

The course focuses and explores the development and changes of Modern Hebrew in all aspects of Israeli and Jewish culture.  A close reading of selected works of modern Hebrew fiction, poetry,  drama in their cultural and historical contexts and of the present-day influence on Israeli life. During the semester we'll be paying attention to students language skills, interests, building vocabulary, grammar review, and literary analysis of a sampling of modern texts.

Life in Israel: Aspects of Israeli Society, Langauge and Literature (HEBRW 3105)

Philip Hollander

Prerequisite: HEBRW 3101, HEBRW 3102 or permission of instructor.

This course prioritizes reading comprehension through close reading of selected works of Modern Hebrew fiction, poetry, and drama grouped around a central theme and read in their cultural and historical contexts. This course also develops oral and written communication, as well as listening comprehension, through a variety of means, including class discussion, oral presentations, viewing of Israeli films and television, and short analytical papers. 

Topics in Biblical Hebrew Prose (HEBRW 4102)

Lauren Monroe

Prerequisite: prior training in Biblical Hebrew or permission of instructor.

Fall 2020 Topic: Judges. The book of Judges in the Bible contains an array of traditions about how the Israelites came to settle in the land of Canaan and their often violent encounters with their Canaanite neighbors. Through reading the book of Judges in the original Hebrew, this course will address issues such as the relationship between violence and identity, the intersections of text and archaeology, Israelite ethnicity, the social, religious and political function of the Judge as charismatic leader, and the way all of these illuminate the evolving relationship between Israel its God, Yahweh.  Close attention will be paid to matters of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary in order to develop students' skills in reading biblical Hebrew prose and to enhance their understanding of the Hebrew language itself as a window on ancient Israelite thought.  Students will be expected to utilize commentaries, biblical Hebrew grammars and lexicons in their preparation of assigned texts.

Philip Hollander