New! Language as Culture - a new program in partnership with Genesis Philanthropy Group

The new program Language as Culture is the result of collaboration between the Bible Lands Museum and the Genesis Philanthropy Group, and is geared towards Russian-speaking Birthright participants from the Former Soviet Union. The program focuses on writing and language as the foundation of human civilization, in general, and of the Jewish people in particular. Participants will discover the secrets of writing and language, and explore how identity is defined and preserved through the written word. A tour of the Museum galleries will expose participants through a wealth of artifacts to the writing systems prevalent in the ancient world, including Mesopotamian Cuneiform and Egyptian Hieroglyphics   and to the cultural context in which they developed. Participants will become acquainted with the early alphabetic scripts and will discover that the Cyrillic alphabet and Modern Hebrew are decedents of these writing systems. Additionally, we will introduce words and concepts that survived from the languages of ancient civilizations, and are still commonly used today in Hebrew and Russian.

This unique program links the past, present and future, emphasizing  that the participants’ current identity is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of the land of Israel, and that the languages and cultures that have since evolved from this ancient land are an integral part of Jewish culture and the culture of
Russian - speaking Jews.

At the end of the tour participant will enjoy a session with Sofer Stam (a scribe) who will talk about his specialized profession and demonstrate how to write with a quill on parchment. Participants will also be given the opportunity to try this skill.

Here is a little taste of what the program has to offer – below are the origins of the Hebrew letter צ (zadik) and how it was adopted into the Cyrillic alphabet.

Letter in Russian Direct origins The letter in Modern Hebrew Proto Canaanite    Phoenician


Hebrew צ







For further inforamtion and registration, please contact: 02-5611066

The Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem opens a window into the cultural world of the Bible in which our ancestors lived, thereby discovering how their ancient beginnings influence us today.   Visitors have the opportunity to go back to the dawn of civilization and witness the crystallization of Jewish cultural heritage.

Genesis Philanthropy Group is committed to supporting and lauching projects, programming, Russian-speaking Jewish communities across the globe.