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The State of Hebrew Education: Insights from Toronto and Beyond

The latest State of the Field, contains a study conducted by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto in collaboration with Rosov Consulting which presents attitudes of various stakeholders to Hebrew education in the Jewish day school. Although the study was conducted in Toronto, we believe it is reflective of other communities around North America.

The study reports on the attitude of parents, students and teachers toward teaching and learning Hebrew, including Contemporary (Modern) and Classical Hebrew in Modern, Traditional and Hybrid schools. It showed that while parents value Hebrew, parents of children in Modern Schools valued Hebrew the least, while those in Hybrid or Traditional Schools, valued different Hebrews, with those in Traditional Schools opting for Classical Hebrew and those in Hybrid schools preferring Modern Hebrew.

The study revealed that parents and students value Hebrew for different reasons, with parents valuing more the symbolic reasons while students were more interested in the practical application of the language. However, what the study surfaced is that the enjoyment from learning Hebrew poses a challenge. While those students in Modern schools disliked all Hebrew learning, with Classical being more disliked than Contemporary Hebrew, students in Hybrid schools enjoyed Contemporary Hebrew very little but had a negative enjoyment from Classical Hebrew. Only students in Traditional Schools enjoyed Hebrew both Contemporary (very little) and Classical (significantly).

Interestingly, parents’ satisfaction with Hebrew education is less than 50% with either Contemporary or Classical Hebrew in Modern Schools, between 50 and 60 percent in Hybrid schools, and only 28% satisfaction with Contemporary Hebrew and 63% satisfaction with Classical Hebrew in Traditional Schools.

2024 State of the Field of Hebrew Language Education Report

We are excited to share the new 2024 State of the Field Report: Hebrew Education in North American Jewish Day Schools.

This report brings together significant work of partners and stakeholders to better understand, recognize and leverage advancements in Hebrew education throughout our field. The 80-page report features aggregated and curated knowledge acquired from our field over the past 12 months.

Join Hebrew teachers, Hebrew leaders, and other school leaders for an intensive, virtual conference on Sunday, April 3, 11:30 – 3:30 EDT. 

Click here for more information and to register