Jerusalem international book festival.jpg
    Photo Credit: Jerusalem International Book Festival
    Although Hebrew virtually ceased to be spoken around 200 CE, it continued to be used by Jews throughout the ages as the ‘sacred tongue’ in liturgy, philosophy and literature. In the late 19th century, it emerged as a modern cultural medium, becoming a vital factor in the national revival movement which culminated in political Zionism. 

    Today, Israeli press and literature is flourishing with the new generations of authors and readers, and Hebrew is a rich, vibrant, living tongue. In addition to the prolific body of Hebrew literature, a significant amount of writing, both prose and poetry appears in other languages, including Arabic, English, and French. Since the immigration of over one million Jews from the former Soviet Union, Israel has become the largest center of literary creativity in the Russian language outside Russia itself.
    • ​First held in 1963, The Jerusalem International Book Fair​ is a unique biennial event which draws over 1,200 publishers from more than 40 countries who exhibit more than 100,000 books in different languages.

    • Amos oz.jpgAmos Oz is an internationally renowned Israeli writer whose works have been translated in 41 languages. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Israel Prize in 1998.

    • Yosef Haim Brenner (1881-1921) and Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888-1970), propelled Hebrew prose into the 20th century, and are considered by many to be the fathers of modern Hebrew literature.

    • Etgar Keret is an Israeli author known for his short stories and graphic novels. Etgar Keret has received the Prime Minister's award for literature, as well as the Ministry of Culture's Cinema Prize, in addition to many other international awards. 

    • Shmuel Yosef Agnon received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1966 and was one of the central figures of modern Hebrew fiction. His works dealt with the conflict between the traditional Jewish life and language and the modern world emerging around the State of Israel.​

    • Haim Nahman Bialik.jpgHaim Nahman Bialik was a famous Jewish poet who wrote in both Hebrew and Yiddish. He was one of the pioneers of modern Hebrew poetry and is regarded as Israel’s national poet.

    • The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature was set up in 1962 to acquaint foreign readers and publishers with the best of contemporary Hebrew literature. Under its auspices, hundreds of works of fiction, poetry, drama and books for children have been published in some 40 languages.
    • David Grossman is an Israeli author whose works have been translated into more than 30 languages and who has also received numerous awards. His latest novel, To the End of the Land, has been written as a children’s book, into an opera, and several poems. 

    • Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1858-1922) spearheaded the momentum for the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language. After immigrating to the Land of Israel in 1881, he pioneered Hebrew usage in home and school, coined thousands of new words, established two Hebrew language periodicals, co-initiated the Hebrew Language Committee (1890) and compiled several volumes of a 17-volume Complete Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew, which was begun in 1910 and completed by his second wife and son in 1959.

    Above photo of Amos Oz courtesy of: Amos Oz​
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