The Academy of the Hebrew Language
The Hebrew language is the thread that has bound the Jewish people together for millennia, both in liturgy and literature, and, in ancient times, as a spoken language. In the history of 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 common tongue. To make this revitalization possible, an uncommon organization was formed: the Academy of the Hebrew Language, the Israeli body with legislated authority to study, guard, and guide the development of the Hebrew language.
The miracle of its rejuvenation today 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 theYishuv 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 it still bears today.
Historic Cabinet Decision to Found a Hall for the Hebrew Language
4 Kislev 5773, 18 November 2012:
In the midst of the fighting in the south of Israel, the cabinet approved the founding of a national center for the Hebrew language in Jerusalem. The new center will house the Academy of the Hebrew Language and a museum devoted to the history of the Hebrew language, the first of its kind. The center will serve as a lodestone for visitors from Israel and abroad and as a national and cultural meeting point for the citizens of Israel and Diaspora Jews.
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