Support, love and engage
Modern Hebrew got a major boost last week at the UK's biggest ever conference on teaching the language on Tuesday 17 May 2011. Over 100 educators from 31 schools from across the country took part in the one-day event at the Avenue House Estate in Finchley run by the Jewish Curriculum Partnership (JCP), an initiative funded by UJIA to transform Jewish day school provision in the UK.
The conference was the culmination of JCP's Professional Development Programme to raise the standard of the teaching and learning of modern Hebrew in Jewish schools in the UK. Through training days, in-school support and creating new resources, the JCP has already provided over 90 teachers with Hebrew training. UJIA is a core-funder of the JCP, working in partnership with the United Synagogue.
The conference showcased Ivrit B'Click, the first digital resource designed for teaching the language in UK schools. It teaches new vocabulary and language structures which are reinforced by interactive activities, including videos providing an insight into the daily life of Israeli children from the Kerner Ma'ale HaGalil Primary School in Meona which is paired with the Clore Tikva Primary School in Redbridge through UJIA's School to School Twinning Programme. Ivrit B'Click was developed by JCP in partnership with the Center for Educational Technology (CET) in Israel with funding from the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation.
Delegates came from Jewish primary and secondary schools in London, Essex, Hertfordshire, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. After workshops including teaching Hebrew through music and art, as well as exploring the use of IT to teach and assess languages, the teachers joined arms for a session of Israeli dancing led by the Israeli Dance Institute Shaliach, Ilai Szpiezak.
Samantha Benson, JCP's Ivrit Curriculum Team Leader, said:
"It was wonderful to see so many Ivrit teachers from primary and secondary schools working together. We were particularly pleased with the very positive response to interactive digital resources for teaching the language. We now hope to make the conference and annual event."
One participant, Meir Vardi, Head of Ivrit at King David High School in Manchester commented:
"The JCP is doing a great job. I believe that this is the beginning of a real change in the attitude to the teaching of modern Hebrew in the UK."
Tamar Havkin, Ivrit teacher at Mathilda Marks Kennedy Primary School, Mill Hill, London said:
"I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and the ideas in the workshops were very practical and thought provoking. Above all, it is so fabulous that after so many years we finally have this amazing home, an umbrella for all Ivrit and Jewish Studies teachers in the UK as opposed to each individual wandering in the desert."