HATC in the Community
עברית במרכז בקהילה
News and Information
Rabbi Andrew Ergas Welcomes Dr. Esty Gross to HATC
On behalf of the leadership and staff of Hebrew at the Center (HATC), I am thrilled to announce that Dr. Esty Gross will be joining our professional team as Chief of Staff and Director of Education as of May 16, 2022.
For the past five years, she has served as the Education Director for Hebrew Studies, Global Division for the Center for Educational Technology (CET), a leading provider of Hebrew curriculum and professional development for the Jewish educational field worldwide.
She has worked within academia as a former Associate Coordinator of DeLeT L’Ivrit and currently serves as a Visiting Lecturer at DeLeT Lehoraat Ivrit at Hebrew Union College and as an Adjunct Professor in the MAT-TESOL program for the University of Southern California. Esty has over twenty-five years of field experience, starting as an English teacher in Israel, and upon moving to the United States, as a Hebrew teacher, Department Chair, Curriculum Specialist, Professional Development Consultant, and Director in leading Jewish day schools in the Los Angeles area.
A former Co-Chair of the National Association for Hebrew Teachers (NAHeT) and a member of the Council for Hebrew Language and Culture in North America, Esty has presented in countless schools and conferences and has written numerous articles, authored and co-authored textbooks, and is currently in the process of publishing two books on Hebrew pedagogy and equitable language education.
Esty received her doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Southern California, holds an M.A. in Management and Leadership in Education from Tel Aviv University, a Coordinator and Master Teacher Certificate from Hebrew College, and a B.A. in English Linguistics as well as a Teacher’s Diploma for Teaching English as a Second Language from Bar Ilan University.
As Esty has shared, “I am driven by the belief that language is intimately bound to identity, culture, and power and all these factors must be attended to in order to support effective and equitable language learning. In the context of Hebrew language education. I believe that mastery of the Hebrew language promotes students' understanding of global Jewry and culture, increases their overall academic performance, supports their understanding of their own language, strengthens their Jewish identity, and fosters their appreciation and tolerance to other peoples and cultures. I cannot wait to work with the extraordinary team of professionals at Hebrew at the Center to make real our shared vision for Hebrew in North America and beyond.”
Esty is a thoughtful, reflective, and intentional educator and a focused, collaborative, and effective leader. I am certain that as Chief of Staff, she will play an essential role as thought partner and colleague to the entire staff as she joins Hebrew at the Center at this pivotal moment in its maturation and growth. In her additional role as Director of Education, she will also provide support, leadership, and supervision to our professionals working in the day school space and advancing our informal educational efforts.
Please join us in celebrating this exciting moment and help us welcome Esty to her new role when she begins in a few weeks!
The Critical Role Hebrew Language Learning Plays in Identity Development, By Rabbi Mitch Malkus
"Last month I participated on a panel at Hebrew at the Center’s annual Hitkadmut Hebrew Educators Conference. The group’s focus was on “systemic strategies for integrating Hebrew through schools” and on the head’s role in this work.
As I prepared for the discussion, I found myself initially thinking a lot about supporting teachers and programs, and about the research on language learning for students.
Amitei Ivrit Highlight
עמיתי עברית לדוגמא
During the summer of 2022, 20 North American Camps and an additional 18 European camps will be participating in the Amitei Ivrit initiative. This will include close to 15,000 campers and an additional 5,000 staff members. Launched in 2021, Amitei Ivrit is in cooperation with The Jewish Agency for Israel, with the generous support of the Patrick & Lina Drahi Foundation, and powered by Hebrew at the Center.
Using an array of updated program materials, this summer’s Amitim (Fellows) have completed both JAFI and HATC intensive training programs and are due to depart from Israel to their various camps starting at the end of May. Over the course of the summer, the HATC project staff will be visiting the North American camps to check in on their progress and use of our materials.
Amitei Ivrit is an educational initiative, which works with Jewish summer camps in North America and Europe in the development of holistic and purposeful Hebrew engagement programming. The goal of Amitei Ivrit is to amplify and expand the use of Hebrew in daily camp life in order to enable Jewish campers of all ages as well as staff members to have a personal and meaningful connection with Hebrew as a part of their Jewish identification. Over the course of implementation, camps will infuse written and spoken Hebrew into aspects of their daily programming in enjoyable ways so that it becomes part and parcel of camp culture.
Below is a list of the 20 Amitei Ivrit camps in North America for 2022:
- B'nai B'rith Camp (Oregon)
- Beber Camp
- Camp B'nai Brith of Montreal
- Camp B'nai Brith of Ottawa
- Camp Kadimah
- Camp Tel Noar
- Capital Camps
- In the City Camps
- Ramah Darom
- Ramah Sports Academy
- JCC Ranch Camp
- URJ Camp Coleman
- URJ Camp George
- URJ Greene Family Camp
- WBT Camp Hess Kramer
- WBT Gindling Hilltop Camp
- YJ - Camp Young Judaea Midwest
- YJ - Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake
- YJ - Camp Young Judaea Texas
- YJ - Camp Judaea (N. Carolina)
Upcoming Programs and Events
תוכניות ואירועים קרובים
Save the Date: Hebrew Educators Learning Circle (HELC) Celebration on May 15th
Ensure May and June Hires are Ready for September!
The New Hebrew Teacher Boot Camp מכינה למורים חדשים provides basic preparation for teachers’ first days at school and aims to build a community of educators to share ideas and engage in team collaboration. This virtual, three-day intensive workshop is designed for beginning Hebrew teachers or teachers early in their career who are interested in the Proficiency Approach. Participants will leave the course with the following:
- Fundamental principles of Hebrew teaching
- Sample lesson plans for first two to three weeks of school
- Ideas for additional lesson plans
- Community of Hebrew teachers for support and collaboration
- Proficiency Approach concepts and application in the classroom
- Theoretical and practical teaching tools
- Certificate of course completion
Dates are Tuesday, Aug. 2, to Thursday, August 4, 2022, 11:30 AM - 5 PM EDT. Cost is $749 for the entire course; 10% discount for HATC or Prizmah members ($674). Click here to register today.
Hebrew at the Center aims to revolutionize the effectiveness of teaching and learning Hebrew in all educational settings, worldwide.
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