I began my career as a Hebrew teacher in 2010 when a Rabbi at Yeshivat Ohr Someyach Jerusalem approached me to teach a Hebrew class. Initially, I was hesitant to agree to teach the course. I pushed him off for a week or two and after some convincing I finally agreed. The course was set to begin and I was off to prepare material.
The problem was that I wasn’t satisfied with the way most books approached teaching the Hebrew language. I wouldn’t have been satisfied copying the same boring worksheets and lessons from books. I made some small sketches of the first lesson based on one principle, “how would I have liked to learn Hebrew?” Thankfully, I’ve been able to prepare Hebrew lessons based on this principle ever since.
Immediately, I was thrown into the role of teacher. At first I only had a few students in my Hebrew class, but, as word spread I soon had a decent number of people interested in understand Hebrew, especially, Hebrew grammar.
I tried to keep the Hebrew lessons short, concise, and focused. I didn’t want students to leave the class and wonder, “we talked about so many things, what did we actually discuss?” Thankfully, the class was extremely successful. I was proud to hear that so many students gained a better understanding of Hebrew that allowed them more easily engage Israeli’s in colloquial Hebrew as well as read religious texts easier.
Soon after, I placed signs around Jerusalem advertising Hebrew tutoring/lessons. I was fortunate to meet a number of interesting and talented individuals.
Soon after to moving to Cleveland Ohio I considered starting my “Individual Ulpan” here in Cleveland. Not surprisingly, there is no shortage of interest in learning Hebrew. Despite the strong interest, there are a number of factors that make it difficult to learn Hebrew in Cleveland. There are only a few colleges and universities in the state that offer Hebrew. Additionally, there are fewer Israelis/Hebrew speakers available for practice.
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