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Jewish Studies

An overview of scholarly resources in Jewish Studies

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Learning Hebrew and Yiddish

See "Reference Sources" on this guide for dictionaries and lexica

Working with Romanized titles

How do I find Hebrew and Yiddish titles in the catalog?

The UChicago catalog uses the Hebrew romanization system developed by the ALA and the Library of Congress. The catalog allows for searching with Hebrew characters but most titles are cataloged in transliteration only.

Searching WorldCat in Hebrew or Yiddish is the best method for locating titles held by the University of Chicago. Click the "Find It" button to see the catalog record.

Here are a few rules to help in searching:

  • The definite article in Hebrew ה is separated from a word by a dash, as in הכלב ha-kelev. The same is true for the conjunction ו, as in וכלב ve-kelev.
  • If the word begins with “-וה”, it is romanized as veha-, as in והכלב veha-kelev.
  • Conjunctions such as ל, מ, כ, ב are almost always separated by a dash, as in לכלב la-kelev.
  • Vocal schwas (shva na) are always transcribed as “e” regardless of pronunciation, as in תשובה, teshuvah.
  • Semihut forms ends in “e,” as in בני ישראל, bene Yisra'el.
  • Aleph and ayin may or may not be represented in romanization, as in עם 'im or im.

Hebrew on a PC

Microsoft Word for PC supports right-to-left languages. Setting up Word to compose in Hebrew requires installing a Hebrew keyboard on your PC. Public PCs in the campus libraries can be set up in this way. If you are using a public PC, you may have to adjust the settings at the start of every new session.


Windows 7

1. Go to Start Menu and open Control Panel

2. click "Change keyboards or other input methods" under Clock, Language and Region

3. click "Change keyboards..."

4. click "Add" and select Hebrew from drop down menu, select "keyboard" and then US or Israel keyboard layout (your choice, both work).

5. click "Apply"

6. At this point an "EN" symbol (for English) should appear in the taskbar. When you click on this symbol you can select a Hebrew keyboard. 

7. Open Word, select "HE" for Hebrew keyboard on the taskbar. This automatically switches to right-to-left formatting and Hebrew font. 

8. Start typing! (do the same to type in Hebrew in internet browser)

Hebrew on a Mac

Mac OS X Yosemite and Office 2016 for Mac are the first to support right-to-left languages. The links provided here explain how to enable this feature.

If you are using an earlier operating system or version of Office, then there are two options for word processing in Hebrew on a Mac. You can either use a different program than Word or you can run a PC emulator, or virtual PC, on your Mac and use Word on the PC side.

1. Programs for Mac that support right-to-left languages:

2. Running Word through a PC emulator on a Mac (virtual PC on Mac) requires the purchase of:

Citation Managers

Most citation managers have difficulty importing non-Roman scripts. I recommend using Zotero if you are working with Hebrew.


Subject Specialist

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Anne Knafl
Joseph Regenstein Library, Room 462

Useful Information

Find It!
When searching databases, the Find It button, when present, can be used to locate an item in the Library Catalog, to gain access to the full-text of an article, or to send an interlibrary loan order..

Proxy It!
Get access to library resources from off campus with ⇒ ProxyIt! ⇐. For Chrome, Firefox or Safari, drag the link to your bookmarks tool bar. For Internet Explorer, right-click on the link and select "Add to Favorites...".

Purchase Request
The Library welcomes suggestions for the acquisition of materials which support the University's teaching and research programs. Use this form to submit a request.  It will be routed to the appropriate subject specialist for consideration.