Israel is the only country to have revived an unspoken language and establish it as its national tongue.
Due mainly to the determination of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1858-1922), the ancient Hebrew language, which for centuries was used only its biblical form for studying traditional Jewish texts, became the national language of the modern State of Israel.
Israelis hailing from all corners of the globe speak Hebrew as the language of everyday communication.
Located at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Academy of the Hebrew Language, established in 1949, has continued Ben-Yehuda’s efforts as the world’s premier institution for modern Hebrew, where new words and terms are created and standards are set for grammar, transliteration, punctuation and orthography.
In his book, Was Hebrew Ever a Dead Language, British historian Cecil Roth summed up Ben-Yehuda’s contribution to the Hebrew language: “Before Ben‑Yehuda, Jews could speak Hebrew; after him, they did.”