Foundation of the Academy of the Hebrew Language

Even before the foundation of the state it was understood that the time was ripe for the establishment of an officially recognized institute of Hebrew language. In October 1948 a preliminary committee was formed to prepare the foundations for the Academy of the Hebrew Language, an official body for research and guidelines. 

By January 1949 the establishment of the Academy of the Hebrew Language was declared in the presence of prime minister David Ben-Gurion, and was enacted into law in August 1953. Apparently the lag between establishment and law was largely due to the name “Academia” or Academy. Ben-Gurion was against a foreign word as the name of the institution, but the members of the Committee were firm and in the end it was explicitly stated in the law that the institution had the right to name itself.

The first 15 members were chosen in 1953 and the name “Ha’Akademia LaLashon Ha’Ivrit” (the Academy of the Hebrew Language) was chosen in the first meetings of the organization, along with creation of its charter and goals:

  • To gather and research Hebrew language vocabulary of all periods and levels
  • To research the forms of Hebrew and its history

  • To guide the natural development of the language according to the needs and possibilities in all fields, in vocabulary, grammar, writing, and transliteration.

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