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We’re Changing Our Name

When this organization was formed back in 2009 our corporate name was actually “The National Center for Hebrew Language Charter School Excellence and Development, Inc.” That mouthful was immediately shortened to “Hebrew Charter School Center,” which was used through the end of 2015, when, after an extensive re-branding process, the name was further tightened to “Hebrew Public.” There are a number of reasons we felt compelled to do this. Some of the most pressing concerns we had were around the confusion our name had been causing with our various constituent groups: Do your schools teach religion? Aren’t your schools private? What do you mean by “Center” in your name?, etc.

We engaged a branding firm to guide us through a thorough self-examination process, then intense brainstorming that resulted in more than 200 naming ideas, and finally through a public vetting process involving people from all walks of life, including teachers, parents, media, and funders, among other groups. In the end, Hebrew Public won favor with a marked majority of respondents, and the Board unanimously voted to approve the change in December. In the coming months we will be rolling out this new name and a sharper, more compelling visual identity.

Sara Berman

In addition to serving as chair of the Board of Directors for the Hebrew Charter School Center, Sara Berman also chairs the boards of Hebrew Language Academy Charter School and Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School. From 2004 to 2008, she was a weekly columnist for The New York Sun, focusing on the experience of raising children in New York City. Before that, she was the features editor and then the news editor at The Forward, America’s national Jewish newspaper. From 2002 to 2005, Sara chaired the board of the Makor/Steinhardt Center, one of eight centers at the 92nd Street Y. Currently she serves on the Board of Directors of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and the Board of Trustees of the Areivim Philanthropic Group. She graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University, where she studied history.

From the Chair

From Vision to Reality

When we started with one little school, Hebrew Language Academy in Brooklyn, six years ago, we envisioned that someday our newborn venture would grow and mature to become a truly national phenomenon. I am thrilled to report that six years later, the vision is a long way toward becoming a reality.

Early in 2015, we were overjoyed and grateful that the New York State Board of Regents and the New York City Department of Education granted us the opportunity to build on the great progress we had made at Hebrew Language Academy, to continue serving our wonderfully diverse community of students all the way through middle school. Soon thereafter, the State of New Jersey followed suit by giving Hatikvah International Academy its blessing for a middle school there as well. 2015 also ushered in another brand new school – our ninth – for us: Agamim Classical Academy in Minneapolis, where 73 eager young minds are now hard at work in their classrooms.

All of us here in our headquarters in New York joined the children, parents, and staff at our schools all around the country in cheering as those milestones were reached.

Right now more than 1,700 children are being educated in our classrooms. But our full vision is to someday serve tens of thousands of students each year. As you look through this report, we invite you to renew your commitment to be a vital part of this exciting venture, or, if you have not yet joined us, to strongly consider doing so – we’d love to have you!

Sara Berman, Chair of the Board

From the President

I love having a look back at any given year because it makes me stop for a while to take notice of what can be accomplished when a great team of people put their hearts and souls into a shared vision. The distance we’ve come over the past year makes me particularly proud.

In brief:

  • 1,700+ children are now learning in nine schools across the country, in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.
  • We’ve expanded into middle school at our two founding schools, HLA and Hatikvah, and we helped launch our first school in the state of Minnesota, Agamim Classical Academy.
  • Our schools are wonderfully diverse, with students from a wide array of racial, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. While this is, sadly, not the case at other schools in our cities and neighborhoods, it is at ours – and that is not an accident.
  • Hundreds of children are speaking, reading, and writing Modern Hebrew with great proficiency – something that always brings smiles of delight to the faces of native Hebrew speakers who visit our schools.
  • We’ve expanded our role in the national charter school movement, and are active partners in associations and networks that will help us grow, learn, share, and flourish.

I hope you enjoy reading this report, and see in it what I see: the story of an amazing phenomenon resulting from passion, dedication, and a lot of hard work. I invite you to join us as we become an increasingly important presence in the worlds of dual-language instruction, diverse schooling, Israel and global studies, and charter schools.

Jon Rosenberg, President and CEO

Jon Rosenberg

Jon is an experienced social sector leader, education program developer, and civil rights lawyer. He has served as CEO of Repair the World, as executive director of Roads to Success, and in senior staff roles at Edison Schools Inc., The Children’s Aid Society, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Jon began his legal career as a public defender at The Legal Aid Society. He is an active volunteer in the Montclair School District, where he and his family live, and serves on the boards of Ascend Learning, the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools, and the National Coalition of Diverse Charter Schools. He is a past–chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Education and the Law. A graduate of Columbia Law School, he holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Schools At A Glance

© Copyright 2016 - Hebrew Public President's Report
(This report covers the period of Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2015.)

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