Also, what's in it for you?

“Hebrew Book Week” שבוע הספר (shvoo-ah hah-sehfeher) is an annual celebration of Hebrew literature, featuring outdoor book fairs with discounts הנחות (hah-na-chot) from various publishers. Despite the intense heat and humidity of Tel Aviv, over the past month thousands of visitors crowded the book fair at “Sarona Market”, including many more in Jerusalem and Haifa . Authors סופרים (sohf-reem) and poets משוררים (meh-shoh-reh-reem) often visit these fairs to meet readers and sign books.

Modern Hebrew literature is relatively new, developing intensively only in the early 20th century. As Jews immigrated to Israel, they needed a shared language שפה (sah-fah), leading to the creation of Modern Hebrew. 

The foundations of modern Israeli literature were laid by literary pioneers such as Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Hayim Nahman Bialik, and Leah Goldberg. Remarkably, these poets did not speak Hebrew as their native language!

Today, numerous Israeli writers have had their works translated into English. Whether in Hebrew or English, now is a great time to explore the works of Israeli contemporary writers סופרים מודרניים (soh-freem moh-der-neem).

In the 21st century, thousands of Israeli writers publish in Hebrew, some gaining international acclaim. Notable authors whose works are translated into English include David Grossman, Etgar Keret, and Amos Oz. So, whether it’s in Hebrew or English, now might be a great time to pick up a book by an Israeli contemporary writer and remember that not long ago, this literary richness was just a distant dream.

Want to learn more about the Hebrew language and Israeli culture? 👇🏼

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