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Hebrew Studies

Ed Zone

These courses enable learners to gain recognition for the achievement of considerable knowledge in a range of subject areas, as for example in the Leaving Certificate and one-year Post Leaving Certificate courses.

Courses may be academic or practical in focus, and awards that are recognised by the National Framework of Qualifications may lead to progression opportunities higher up in the framework.

Employment Opportunities
The majority of people with certificates at this level are well prepared for occupations that involve using their knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include office secretary, customer service representatives, special needs assistant, retail salespersons and childcare workers.

Level on the National Framework of Qualifications
2 Years
Duration of course
Grades Awarded
In brief... header image

Leaving Certificate Hebrew Studies enables students to deepen their understanding of the history, religion and civilization of the Hebrew people. The course builds on the Junior Cycle course and focuses in greater depth on major themes regarding institutions, religious ideas and roles as they were expressed and developed during the course of Israelite history.

Why Study this?header image

The subject is specialised and suited to someone who has an interest in the Jewish religion, customs and traditions.

This subject is not offered as part of the normal school curriculum but students can apply to sit this exam.


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Course Overview header image

Hebrew Studies is assessed at two levels, ordinary and higher, by means of a written examination paper.

The aims of the course are:

(1) To pursue the aims of the Junior Certificate course in Hebrew Studies at a level appropriate to the needs of and capacities of senior post-primary pupils, and

(2) To enable students to deepen their understanding of the history, religion and civilization of the Hebrew people by focussing in greater depth upon major themes regarding institutions, religious ideas and roles as they were expressed and developed during the course of Israelite history.

As in the Junior Certificate course, these aims are to be pursued primarily through the study of prescribed Hebrew texts which focus upon major topics. A study (in the vernacular) of the wider background to these texts and topics, especially regarding historical detail, is also necessary.

Course Contentheader image

The same examination syllabus is prescribed for both ordinary and higher level examinations. However, while a descriptive approach to the study of the prescribed topics is recommended at ordinary level, a more analytical approach is required at higher level. The syllabus is divided into four sections, A, B, C and D, each of which covers two major topics from Israelite history. The texts prescribed for the study of the eight topics are as follows:-

Section A

  • Family
  • Government and Monarchy

Section B

  • Prophetic Protest
  • Wisdom

Section C

  • Worship (Sacrifice and Prayer)
  • Festivals and Symbols

Section D

  • Election and Covenant
  • Messianism

Exam Structure header image

Ordinary Level Examination Paper

This paper will have four sections corresponding with the four sections of the syllabus. It will carry a total of 400 marks, 100 marks for each section. Time allowed will be 3 hours. In each section of the paper, two passages of prescribed Hebrew text will be given, one relating to each of the two topics in the corresponding section of the syllabus.

A group of questions (which may include a question on Hebrew grammar) will be set on each passage. The questions will demand a satisfactory understanding of the given passage and a knowledge of the wider background to the events and issues referred to in the passage, especially in regard to historical details.

Candidates must deal with one passage only in each section. Candidates are encouraged to support their answers with appropriate quotation or reference, whenever possible. It will be an advantage to them if they give supporting quotation in Hebrew, and if they translate the quotations given. Square script should be used.

Candidates are reminded that their answers to all questions attempted should reveal evidence of their understanding of the issues raised by the questions, and should not concentrate excessively or exclusively upon simple repetition or memorised notes.

Higher Level Examination Paper

This paper will have the same format and content as the ordinary level paper, except that one question on each of the eight prescribed topics will be different from the questions set on the corresponding topics on the ordinary level paper. A higher standard of answering in general will be expected on this paper

Career Possibilities header image

This subject is useful in Teaching, World Religions, Architecture, Media and Journalism.

Career Guidance