Israeli Sign Language


A language of Israel

Alternate Names

L2 users: 5,000 (Van Cleve 1986). Including some hearing persons.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Not derived from and relatively little influenced by other sign languages. No special signs introduced from outside by educators. Minor dialect variation.


A finger-spelling system developed in 1976.

Language Use

Not all deaf use ISL. Interpreters provided in courts. Some interpretation for college students. Sign language instruction for parents of deaf children. Many sign language classes for hearing people. Committee on national sign language; organization for sign language teachers. Classroom sign language and that used by deaf adults outside are different.

Language Development
Films. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar.
Other Comments

The first deaf school was established in Jerusalem in 1934. Jewish.