Hebrew Education

Students in Rishonim and K'tanim are informally exposed to Hebrew through music, art, prayer, and key terms used in Jewish life.

All 3rd-5th Grade students also participate in weekly Hebrew instruction in conjunction with Rishonim or Kesher.

In our Hebrew program, students develop Hebrew decoding skills and an understanding of core Hebrew grammatical concepts. Students gain proficiency in reading prayers from the Shabbat service as they prepare to become Bar/Bat Mitzvah and knowledgeable Jewish young adults. Students begin to make connections between key prayer vocabulary and themes that reflect Jewish life. Each grade has specific learning and prayer goals. Hebrew is taught through a variety of formats including textbooks, Jewish texts, games, computer programs, conversation, art, music and participation in prayer services. Students are expected to practice Hebrew reading at home.

The goals of our Hebrew Education Program are:

  • To connect students with the language of the Jewish People, both ancient and modern

  • To help students gain a working knowledge of our siddur (prayer book) and the order of our prayer services

  • To become proficient pray-ers, able to participate in T'filah and ultimately lead prayer services.

  • For students to understand key words and themes from our prayer tradition and derive personal meaning and connections to prayer.

We understand that students learn Hebrew in different ways. Our Hebrew education program aims to be inclusive of different kinds of students and diverse approaches to learning.  All 3rd to 5th grade students have a choice between Hebrew Kitah (Class) OR Hebrew Chevruta (Tutoring).

Hebrew Kitah (Class) is according to level - Alef (Beginner), Bet (Intermediate) or Gimel (Advanced). 3rd to 5th graders participate in a weekly 65 minute class (class size of about 15 students) at PTBE on Sundays (8:20-9:25 am) or (11:40-12:45 pm) OR Wednesdays (4:55 - 6:00 pm).

Hebrew Chevruta (Tutoring) includes a choice between 1:1 tutoring or 2:1 (paired) tutoring. Tutoring is scheduled weekly for 40 minute sessions that take place at the synagogue. If choosing Chevruta (Tutoring) 2:1, you must coordinate your own partner (same grade level). 

Chevruta is recommended for students with special learning needs, for students who do not match up with our levels or levels for students seeking alternative Hebrew goals.

All 6th Grade students take Hebrew class as part of the Middle School Wednesday Night program. Students are assessed at the beginning of the year in order to take Hebrew in small classes at the appropriate level. In class, students have the opportunity to engage more deeply with the prayers of our tradition, to learn about prayer meaning and to prepare more intentionally for becoming bar/bat mitzvah. Additionally, during WNP, 6th Grade students participate in T'filah (prayer services). Led by the clergy, prayer services help students use their Hebrew in context, gain familiarity with the B'nai Mitzvah service, and gain confidence on the bimah. Finally, our 6th grade program builds purposeful relationships between students and clergy as well as between our students.

Our school uses a unique textbook called, Alef Bet Quest published by Behrman House, as a tool to help your child learn. When your student begins Hebrew, he/she will receive both a textbook and a matching web-based digital companion. Your child will learn to read Hebrew with the book in class and will practice those new skills at home in animated online activities and computer games. This combination is a highly motivating way to learn to read Hebrew, and we think your child will love the program.

To access the online review, students will each receive a user name and password that enables them to log into our school's private portal in the Online Learning Center (OLC) hosted by Behrman House. Here’s how to get started:

1. Begin by going to the website www.behrmanhouse.com and clicking on “Play & Learn” to find Online Learning Center Login link at the top right of the page.

2. Receive a log-in for each student that follows the pattern: first initial last name@ptbe.org. Example lkingston@ptbe.org. (this log in is NOT a working email address). All log-ins and passwords will be given out at the beginning of the school year or when your child begins Hebrew.

3. Follow the prompts to log in for the first time. After you log in you will be prompted to choose your own password. (You may change at any time.) Make sure it's something your child can remember! 

4. After completing these steps, your child can log in to the OLC at any time by going to www.behrmanhouse.com/bholc or clicking “Enter the OLC” from the Behrman House home page.

 If you need technical support at any time, log in and click Get Tech Help to submit a support ticket with any questions. Someone will answer your query within one business day, and often much sooner. If you have any trouble with your first time log in, you can contact customersupport@behrmanhouse.com directly.