Hebrew Language Curriculum
The Hebrew language curriculum at Westchester Hebrew High School is centered on the principle that Hebrew is much more than a foreign language. For this reason, we have created an inviting and lively learning environment that enables students to immerse themselves in the language and culture of Israel. Our spiral curriculum ensures that students can progress at their own pace while striving to perfect their speaking, reading, writing and listening skills. Classroom activities adopt a 21st century approach to language acquisition and teachers use technology, media, textbooks and online resources to promote a community of active learners. The curriculum includes a focus on grammar concepts, through the exploration of a variety of texts, from traditional to modern, from current events to poems and pop culture music. Our main goal is to allow students to learn Hebrew through an experiential and holistic approach, where students become engaged with the Hebrew language. For example, each Friday, students participate in בית קפה ישראלי; our classrooms are transformed into a coffee house, where students discuss current events and converse in an informal coffee house setting.
9th Grade Hebrew
In the ninth grade, students concentrate on gaining proficiency in writing, reading and speaking. Vocabulary enrichment and grammar lessons are designed around every day conversation and topics such as going to a restaurant or the bank, taking books out of the library, visiting someone in the hospital, or taking public transportation. The works of Israeli poets and authors, such as Chaim Nachman Bialik, Y.L. Peretz, Shai Agnon and Etgar Keret, serve as a springboard for in-class discussions and written assignments on topics suich as family values and individual values. Students read Hebrew language newspapers in order to become familiar with current events and contemporary Israeli society and culture.
10th Grade Hebrew
In tenth grade, students continue to hone skills, focusing on developing their conversational Hebrew to include more complex topics including the technology boom in Israel. Our literary selections, both classical and modern, include information relating to the history and geography of the State of Israel, with a focus on pre-State Aliyot and communities. Some of the literary figures covered are Rachel, Yehuda Amichai, Natan Alterman, Chaim Nachman Bialik and Aharon Meged. The curriculum incorporates Israeli songs, movies and newspapers, providing students with a glimpse into the historical and current perspectives on Israeli history and culture.
11th Grade Hebrew
In eleventh grade, students focus on issues of identity – personal, national, and religious. We ask and answer questions such as what does it mean to be Jewish? How do I perceive myself as a Jew? How do others perceive me? How is Israel perceived by others? The literature we read, including works by modern Israeli poets Naomi Shemer, Ehud Manor and Uzi Chitman, addresses these very questions. Throughout the year we will develop a more sophisticated vocabulary and refine grammar skills while discussing topics such as adopting "green" and healthy lifestyles, as well as studying modern communities in Israel and Aliyah to Israel post-Statehood. Students will keep journals, prepare oral presentations and lead classroom discussions.
12th Grade Hebrew
In twelfth grade, students use Israeli film and television as a springboard for learning about the evolution and complexities of Israeli society, including relationships, values, norms and conflict. News programs, films and television shows, current and classic, will allow students to have thought-provoking conversations and debates on diverse topics such Israeli politics, the Mid-East situation, the economy and societal challenges. Students will also explore issues such as college life abd career choices, in Hebrew, of course. As a final project, students will film, direct, produce and act in a short film in Hebrew.
Hebrew Mechina & Beginner's Hebrew
Students in our Mechina program receive a crash-course introduction to Hebrew language with a focus on both conversational Hebrew and grammar. As they progress, they begin a more intense Hebrew course, building on the foundations of the Mechina class. Students move from basic grammar to more complex concepts, while developing their spoken and written skills. In addition to using texts and online resources, students watch Israeli movies and television shows, read newspapers and discuss current events.