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Hebrew Public is building the Hebrew public charter school movement in America. Created in 2009, Hebrew Public (formerly Hebrew Charter School Center) helps to launch and sustain schools around the country. Our network’s schools provide a robust academic program that immerses students in the Modern Hebrew language, teaches about the history and culture of Israel and its immigrant communities, and emphasizes students’ commitments to each other, to their communities, and to the world.

Our History (Briefly)

Our Academic Model

The first priority in our schools is to provide excellent learning opportunities for every child. Hebrew Public supports schools in training teachers to differentiate their teaching to make sure that every child gets the instruction needed to grow to his or her full academic potential. Our schools assess student learning to make sure each child acquires the foundational skills in literacy and math to excel in all of their subjects. Our three schools that currently have state-level test data have shown very strong results on state exams. And our students’ global awareness and proficiency in Hebrew set them apart from their peers in other schools.

Teachers from across the Hebrew Public network of schools taught English to students in Israel’s poorest neighborhoods, under the Talma program.

Pictured are: Sarah Feld, Lauren Varod, Michelle Ezrachie, Stacey Aruch, Lavinia Voicu, Shimri Gerstein, Cassidy Platt, Nichole McIntosh, and Sarah Snyder.

Growth of the Network

Our vision is to create dozens of excellent schools across the United States, serving tens of thousands of students. We started small in 2009 with our first elementary school, Hebrew Language Academy in Brooklyn, which in its first year served 150 students. We have had an eleven-fold growth in the six years since then, serving more than 1,700 students in seven elementary schools in four states and the District of Columbia, and two new middle schools. To continue that pace of growth requires an all-hands-on-deck effort from our staff, community partners and leaders, and a growing number of supporters.

Diversity in Our Schools

Black

White

Latino

Asian

Other

Core to our mission is to create schools that are racially and economically integrated. As noted in recent research reports and media, New York City’s public schools, for example, are among the most segregated in the nation, with black and Latino students in particular attending in large proportions schools that are “hyper-segregated.” As schools of choice, when thoughtfully designed, located, and marketed, charter schools can achieve levels of integration and diversity that are difficult for district schools to achieve. This is true at our schools all over the country.

We believe in diverse schools for two main reasons. First, there is significant evidence that all students, but especially students of color and low-income students, benefit academically from attending schools that are diverse. Second, we believe that there is an array of additional benefits for all students from attending diverse schools – in social capital, cross-cultural communication, empathy, appreciation of difference, exposure to multiple learning and communication styles – all of which will provide tangible benefits in college, the workplace, and society for all of our students.

Languages Spoken in the Homes of Our Children

Diversity Efforts

Hebrew Public is working hard to promote the benefits of the network’s truly student diversity. Three of Hebrew Public’s senior management team attended the annual conference for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers in Colorado, where CEO Jon Rosenberg served on a well-attended panel on racial and economic integration in charter schools. Rosenberg also served as a panelist for a Congressional briefing on charter school innovation. In November he participated in a panel on school integration, held at Brooklyn Law School. Moderated by Arva Rice, president of the New York Urban League, panelists also included New York City Council members Brad Lander and Ritchie Torres.

Hebrew Studies

From the very first day of school all of our children are greeted by Hebrew teachers who speak to them in modern Israeli Hebrew. Very quickly, they start to answer their teachers’ questions using Hebrew words and, before long, speaking in sentences. The goal of our Hebrew language instruction is for students to speak, read, write, and understand the Hebrew that is used throughout Israel and by Hebrew speakers around the world. We train all of our Hebrew teachers in the Proficiency Approach and assess students’ language acquisition progress throughout the year. In 2009, when we had a single school, we had only four teachers of Hebrew; today our nine schools employ over 70. Finding and training an ever-increasing number of teachers who are fluent Hebrew speakers is one of our big challenges, and we continue to build new partnerships in both the U.S. and in Israel to ensure we have the pipeline of talent that our students deserve.

Israel & Global Studies

One of Hebrew Public’s key goals is for students to learn about the culture and history of Israel. We have created a curriculum that incorporates the study of Israel with the study of world geography, culture and history. As our children learn the continents of the world, they come to know stories of people who have immigrated to Israel from each continent. while they trace their own family’s origins and how they came to live in the United States. When children learn about holidays and cultural celebrations around the world, teachers explain how different countries celebrate their culture and compare these events with similar celebrations in the U.S. and Israel. Going forward, we are aligning this curriculum with Common Core standards and expanding it to meet the needs of middle school learners.

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

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