Ronit Engel

Professor Engel served as coordinator and director of the Modern Hebrew Language Program from 1995 until her retirement in 2020. During these 25 years, she transformed MHLP into one of the leading Modern Hebrew programs in the US.


With degrees in Bible, Hebrew literature, Hebrew language, and Education from Tel Aviv University, Ronit Engel began her teaching career at the prestigious Lycee Alliance Israelite Universelle in Ramat Aviv before joining the faculty of Tel Aviv University’s unit for Hebrew language instruction. While in Israel she developed special programs to prepare immigrant physicists and medical students to undertake advanced study in Hebrew. She also led special training seminars for teachers and directors in Israeli ulpanim on behalf of Israel’s Ministry of Education.

In the United States Prof. Engel inaugurated the program in Hebrew language instruction at Franklin and Marshall College. She came to Penn in 1995 as a special consultant charged with revamping the Modern Hebrew Language Program. One year later she became Program Coordinator, introducing innovations that gained Penn recognition as a leader in Hebrew language instruction in North America. The program’s reputation has brought her invitations to consult at universities as close as Princeton and McGill and as far away as Warsaw and Kyoto.

Prof. Engel’s interest in foreign language pedagogy has made her an active member of the Penn Language Center, the National Association of Professors of Hebrew, and SCRIPT (the Israel Association for Academic Literacy). Each summer she takes part in curriculum development seminars at Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, bringing back the latest developments in instruction to her Penn classroom.


HEBR 051: Elementary Modern Hebrew I
HEBR 052: Elementary Modern Hebrew II
HEBR 053: Intermediate Modern Hebrew I
HEBR 054: Intermediate Modern Hebrew II
HEBR 059: Conversations and Compositions