The Academy of the Hebrew Language

The Academy of the Hebrew Language is the premier institution for the study and cultivation of the Hebrew language, as designated by Israeli law.

The Hebrew language is the thread that binds the Jewish people together, as it has for thousands of years, both in literature and as a spoken language. Through the lens of Jewish history and modern Zionism, however, if there is one event more miraculous than the establishment of the State of Israel, it is the revival of Hebrew as its official and primary language. To make this revitalization possible, an organization was formed. The Academy of the Hebrew Language is the Israeli body with a legislated mission to study, guard, and guide the development of the Hebrew language.

The miracle of Hebrew’s rebirth is credited to the work of journalist/scholar  Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, often called the father of modern Hebrew. His work from the 1880s onwards was monumentally important for the language’s dissemination and advancement in the Yishuv settlement in the Land of Israel.

Alongside Ben-Yehuda, however, were other Hebrew grammarians and scholars, as well as teachers of general topics, who together pushed for the establishment of a central body, Va’ad Halashon (The Language Committee). The Committee was founded in stages beginning in 1889, and more formally in 1905. By 1953, the committee was legislatively established as the Academy of the Hebrew Language, the name that remains to this day.

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