Jewish Languages - World Jewish Congress
A look into
Jewish Languages

Representing the resilience and determination of the Jewish people, the remarkable growth of Hebrew into a modern spoken language stands as a testament to their unwavering spirit. Alongside Hebrew, other languages, such as the lyrical beauty of Ladino, has served as a vessel of collective memory, preserving the stories and wisdom of generations past. Each Jewish language encapsulates a unique blend of history, tradition, and resilience, offering a captivating glimpse into Jewish history and its people.

Today, as the Jewish diaspora extends its reach worldwide, newer languages have emerged as vehicles for global Jewish discourse, bridging the gaps between different Jewish communities and facilitating a sense of shared identity.

Immerse yourself in the rich linguistic legacy of the Jewish people, and explore the words, that have shaped and continue to shape Jewish culture, by watching below. t is important to note that these are just some of the languages, as there are multiple languages that branch off that also shape religious and cultural identities.

Hebrew / עִברִית

Once a language primarily confined to biblical texts, Hebrew has undergone a remarkable revival and is now spoken as a native language by millions of people. Its resurgence serves as an inspiring example of successful linguistic revitalization, breathing new life into Jewish cultural expression and embodying the resilience and adaptability of the Hebrew language throughout history.

Yiddish / ייִדיש

Yiddish, spoken by Ashkenazi Jews for 1,000 years, holds the distinction of being the most widespread and widely used among the Jewish languages, bearing testament to its significant historical and cultural influence within Jewish communities worldwide.

Ladino / לדינו

Ladino, the lyrical language of the Sephardic Jews, weaves together the rich tapestry of their history and heritage. With its melodious sounds and expressive words, Ladino serves as a living testament to the Sephardic Jewish community's resilience and enduring presence. 

Judeo-Arabic / يهودي عربي

Jewish communities across the Middle East and North Africa nurtured diverse dialects of Judeo-Arabic, a rich fusion of Arabic and Hebrew, which unfortunately face the threat of extinction in modern times, highlighting the urgent need for their preservation and recognition as part of Jewish linguistic heritage.

Bukhori / бухорӣ

Judeo-Tajik, the Jewish dialect of Tajik spoken by the Bukharan Jews, encapsulates a rich and enduring cultural tapestry that spans generations. This remarkable language serves as a window into the vibrant world of the Bukharan Jewish community, embodying their historical resilience and deep-rooted traditions and carries within its words the stories, rituals, and wisdom passed down through centuries. 

Judeo-Greek / Ιουδαϊκά-Ελληνικά

Judeo-Greek, the Jewish dialect of Greek spoken by the Romaniote Jews, serves as a living link to a vibrant and enduring Jewish presence in Greece that spans over two millennia, embodying the historical resilience and cultural heritage of this remarkable community.