Hebrew at Yachad
Yachad utilizes the Onward Hebrew pedagogy, a sound-to-print approach for building Hebrew skills for synagogue life in which Hebrew and Judaics are integrated.
Onward Hebrew consists of four elements:
Tefila (prayer) in Hebrew (K-6th Grade)
Students practice tefila in Hebrew through once or twice weekly spiritual, musical tefila sessions with our rabbis, cantors, and song leaders. Students can engage with the prayers by following along in transliteration, Hebrew, singing along by memorization, and/or listening. By immersing students in tefila in Hebrew, in whichever ways they choose to engage, the prayers of our people are learned in authentic and spiritual way, rather than by practicing line-by-line.
Jewish Life Vocabulary (K-6th Grade)
By infusing Hebrew vocabulary and letters into the learning environment at Yachad, we aim to expose learners to the Hebrew that will enable them to participate in Jewish life in America, ie phrases like mazel tov (congratulations!), bikur cholim (visiting the sick), and btzelem elohim (in the image of God; as well as words like tshuvah (repentance), tanach (the Jewish bible), and mezuzah. Familiarity with these words not only lays the groundwork for successful Hebrew decoding, it also transmits important Jewish values and cultural elements.
Hebrew Through Movement
“Hebrew Through Movement introduces Hebrew in a playful and meaningful way, creating a positive first link between children and Hebrew. Hebrew Through Movement (HTM) is supported by the latest brain research on learning, providing an aural foundation for Hebrew that opens the door to more facile Hebrew decoding and reading.”-hebrewthroughmovement.org
HTM is taught by a trained specialist with at least 2 years of college-level Hebrew. It is a highly-developed version of ‘Simon Says’ in which the teacher gives verbal commands and the students follow with the corresponding movements. The vocabulary is focused on words that students will encounter related to the Jewish holidays, blessings, and prayers. Sight words are incorporated at higher levels. It is intended to prime students to read Hebrew with a fun, movement-based activity that is motivating and engaging!
Let’s Learn Hebrew Side-by-Side (5th Grade)
“Put Hebrew learning directly in the hands of each and every student! Your digital natives will learn to read Hebrew in a technology-rich interactive online learning environment, reinforced by hands-on activities.”- letslearnhebrew.org
Let’s Learn is an online program comprised of 24 thirty-minute lessons during which a teacher, madrich(a) (high school helper), parent, or older sibling works one-on-one with students, teaching them to decode Hebrew, which involves sounding out the letters and vowels in combination to create words. The lessons contain interactive games on a computer, followed by hands-on reinforcement activities. The one-on-one ratio ensures that students can work at their own pace and that the teacher can tailor the instruction for each student. Additionally, the program tracks student progress and can be accessed by parents online.