Hebrew and Jewish Studies

Program presentation

The bachelor’s program in Hebrew and Jewish Studies is intended for students interested in the various areas of Hebrew and Jewish studies. It offers the opportunity to gain a solid grounding in classical and especially modern Hebrew and in Jewish languages: Yiddish, Judeo-Spanish and Judeo-Arabic. As regards Hebrew, particular attention is devoted to the history of the language, its various strata and its different forms of expression in space and time. No prior knowledge of the language is required. Enrollment in the first year of the bachelor’s program is therefore open to both complete beginners and false beginners. Students who already have some knowledge of the language can contact departement.etudes-hebraiques-juives@inalco.fr or the heads of department, Simon Perego (simon.perego@inalco.fr) or Il-Il Yatziv-Malibert (ilil-yatziv.malibert@inalco.fr), to discuss possible accommodations.

The first year is composed of two parallel tracks with different Hebrew courses (the cultural courses are common to both). One track is for complete beginners. This means all students who do not have the level of Hebrew required for the baccalauréat or equivalent. The other track is for false beginners who already have some knowledge of Hebrew but need to systematize and stabilize their language skills.

It is possible to take a Hebrew-Arabic track from the second year, organized as follows:
  • Second year (per semester): Hebrew (major) 21 ECTS - Arabic (minor) 9 ECTS.
  • Third year (per semester): Hebrew (major) 15 ECTS - Arabic (minor) 15 ECTS.
It is also possible to minor in Hebrew as part of an Arabic-Hebrew bachelor’s program.

Hebrew teaching at Inalco

Hebrew was first taught at Inalco in 1936. Today, Inalco’s Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies is still the only one in France to offer a comprehensive program of study including:
  • Instruction in Hebrew covering all registers of the language (biblical, rabbinic, medieval, modern and contemporary Hebrew);
  • Instruction in Jewish languages (Yiddish, Judeo-Spanish and Judeo-Arabic);
  • Disciplinary courses in the field of Hebrew and Jewish studies, with a particular focus on anthropology, law, history, linguistics, literature, philology and philosophy.
  • A dual-language track that combines Hebrew and Jewish studies with Arabic studies (and soon, Polish).
Students can also take the dual bachelor’s program in Arabic and Hebrew, which leads to two bachelor’s degrees, one in Arabic and the other in Hebrew.
For this demanding and ambitious program, students complete approximately 75% of the courses in each discipline, for a total of 264 ECTS at the end of both programs, instead of 180 Arabic + 180 Hebrew. The rest is cross-credited.
For the dual bachelor’s program, contact elisa.carandina@inalco.fr, arnaud.bikard@inalco.fr, or alessandro.guetta@inalco.fr.

Students enrolled in a bachelor’s or master’s program at another institution may take Hebrew language courses as a minor (up to 12 ECTS credits). The courses are also accessible as part of the Langues O’ Passport, a non-degree-bearing program allowing bachelor’s students to earn up to 24 ECTS credits. This program is also open to non-bachelor’s students, but in this case does not bear credits.

Teaching location

Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (Inalco)
65 rue des Grands Moulins, 75013 Paris
Ph. +33 (0)1 81 70 10 00.
Access: metro line 14 or RER C, station: Bibliothèque François Mitterrand; bus 89 and 62, stop: Bibliothèque Rue Mann; tram 3a, stop: Avenue de France.
For further information, please contact secretariat.hebreu@inalco.fr or the heads of department, Elisa Carandina (elisa.carandina@inalco.fr) or Arnaud Bikard (arnaud.bikard@inalco.fr).

Study abroad


Inalco has agreements with several European universities (in Italy, Poland, Romania, the UK, etc.) where Hebrew and other subjects related to Jewish studies are taught. Students enrolled in a bachelor’s program may apply (starting in second year) for one or two semesters of study at these institutions, with financial support from the European Commission. See this page for details (in french).
Inalco has active agreements with the following Israeli universities: Tel Aviv University, Bar Ilan University and Ben Gurion University. A meeting is held at the end of the first semester each year to present the options for mobility to the department’s students. 

Inalco travel grant

Starting in second year, students can benefit from an Inalco travel grant for a language stay or course abroad during the summer vacation. The grant covers part of the cost of the plane ticket. See this page for details (in french).

Teaching staff

Gabrielle Atlan gabrielle.atlan@inalco.fr Hebrew, Hebrew Law
Yiftah Bar Akiva yiftah.barakiva@inalco.fr Hebrew, language
Arnaud Bikard arnaud.bikard@inalco.fr Yiddish, language and literature
Elisa Carandina elisa.carandina@inalco.fr Modern and Contemporary Hebrew Literature
Rina Cohen-Muller rina.cohen@inalco.fr Contemporary History, Israeli Studies
Alessandro Guetta alessandro.guetta@inalco.fr Jewish Philosophy and Thought, Early Modern Jewish History
Zeljko Jovanovic zeljko.jovanovic@inalco.fr Judeo-Spanish, language and literature
Simon Perego simon.perego@inalco.fr Modern and Contemporary History
Guy Sharett guy.sharett@inalco.fr Hebrew, language
Joseph Tedghi joseph.tedghi@inalco.fr Hebrew language and literature; Judeo-Arabic. Bible.
Vartejanu-Joubert Madalina madalina.vartejanujoubert@inalco.fr Ancient Near Eastern History and Ancient Hebrew Literature
Il-Il Yatziv-Malibert ilil-yatziv.malibert@inalco.fr Hebrew Linguistics