Middlebury College and Brandeis University will open a joint Hebrew-language summer program in 2008.
Students at the seven-week session in Vermont will focus on modern Hebrew and adhere to the same immersion rules that apply in Middlebury’s other nine language summer programs: Students will communicate to each other only in the language of study for the duration of the program.
Ronald Liebowitz, the president of Middlebury College, which already has an Arabic summer school, said the Hebrew program is part of the college’s goal of providing a comprehensive Middle East Studies program.
“Just as it would be academically questionable to offer a Latin American Studies program by teaching Spanish and not Portuguese, so would it be academically questionable to offer a Middle East Studies program by teaching Arabic and not Hebrew,” he said.
Brandeis Hebrew Professor Vardit Ringvald, author of the popular “Brandeis Modern Hebrew” college textbook, will be the school’s director.
More than 40,000 students have studied languages at Middlebury’s 93-year-old language program, according to the college. Administrators said they expect about 40 students for the Hebrew school’s first summer.