Anthology of Modern Hebrew Literature 

Edited by Rachel S. Harris & Yaron Peleg

FAU Jewish Studies is home to the Hebrew Anthology Project in partnership with Hebrew Studies at Cambridge University.

Modern Hebrew Literature is polyphonic; made up of many voices, competing literary influences, a broad geography, and the powerful literary tradition of the Jewish religion. Bound up with questions of identity and place, this literature explores the tension between religious tradition and modern secularization, between Diaspora life and national homeland.  Though Hebrew literature had been written continuously for more than two thousand years, it was not until the nineteenth century that a modern tradition developed. Drawing on the influences of early experiments in Hebrew poetry and prose during the Jewish Enlightenment in the late eighteenth century, writers sought to create a literature comparable to that of the languages of contemporary Europe. With a rich biblical and medieval textual tradition at their disposal, writers were able to draw on a wide and engaging literary canon, with resonant and plentiful images and characters.  These were rewritten and reconceived to meet the needs of contemporary audiences in the modern age, creating palimpsestic layers that have continued to resonate into the present. 

The “Anthology of Modern Hebrew Literature” will be the first comprehensive anthology of modern Hebrew prose, poetry, fiction, and drama to be published in English translation. The anthology will trace the development of modern Hebrew literature from its beginning in the nineteenth century, to contemporary twenty-first century writing, and the project will aim to represent Hebrew literature’s great breadth and diversity. Each of the projected four volumes will focus on a single genre: fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction, and each volume will be subdivided into chronological and thematic sections. These divisions address historical and geographical influences, as well as different literary groups and movements. This is expected to be a five-year project culminating in publication in 2027-2028, to coincide with the 80th anniversary of Israel’s founding. 

Volume Editors:

Drama: Evan Fallenberg and Roy Horovitz (Bar Ilan University)

Poetry: Adriana Jacobs (University of Oxford)

Prose: Arie Dubnov (George Washington University), Nancy Berg (University of Washington, St Louis) & Shai Ginsburg (Duke University)

Fiction: Adam Rovner (University of Denver) & Jessica Cohen (Translator)