Upper School

Hebrew Language

The Hebrew language will go from the synagogue to the house of study, and from the house of study to the school, and from the school it will come into the home and… become a living language

Eliezer Ben Yehuda

The father of modern Hebrew

Hebrew is more than just a second language

Hebrew is at the heart of our school. As students continue to grow in their Jewish education, Hebrew language becomes an integral part of their Jewish identity.

Research shows that learning a second language, enhances intellectual growth, enriches a child’s mental development, and improves children’s understanding of their native language. But Hebrew,  is much more than a foreign language. It is the language in which Jews communicated with each other for thousands of years, between communities around the world and across generations.

At CTA, learning Hebrew Language, both modern and classical,  has the added benefits of connecting our students to the Jewish People across time and space, fostering a connection with the Land and State of Israel, and enhancing Jewish Identity.

While students are exposed to classical Hebrew in their Judaic Studies classes, our Hebrew Language classes focus on modern Hebrew. Our Hebrew program cultivates growth among our students towards comfort and proficiency in the areas of reading fluency and comprehension, writing, grammar, listening comprehension and speaking with the modern day-to-day Hebrew language. We are proud that many of our students choose to continue their studies in Israel, and most of our High School graduates earn foreign language credits in college in the US.


Lower School students participate in age-appropriate Hebrew classes 3 or 4 times a week. Instruction in the Lower School prioritizes comfort among students with Hebrew through exposure from native Hebrew teachers. Our teachers use a variety of authentic printed and online materials, including several textbooks,  the online Ivrit B’Click – published by MaTaCh (The Center or Educational Technology) in Israel, and Hebrew newspapers published for foreign students.

Our program includes experiential units and lessons in which teachers are using technology, dramatization, research, games, presentations, interviews, songs, music, art, and more to engage students in hands-on projects and use all aspect of the language at their level. We emphasize modern Hebrew language skills relevant to daily life: Hebrew dialogues, reading and writing, vocabulary, speaking and listening skills with grammatical concepts weaved in, as well as a connection to the State of Israel and modern Israeli culture.

Our goal is to prepare Lower School student to integrate into our more intense Upper School Hebrew curriculum Bishvil HaIvrit (by by MaTaCh , The Center for Educational Technology in Israel).



Need Support?  No Hebrew?  No problem.

All Students who transfer in with some Hebrew are assessed and placed in the appropriate class. If students have no Hebrew or need any support to catch up with class level, we enroll them in the following programs:

Lower School students receive individualized and small group support in our Hebrew Learning Center, with a Hebrew Teacher. The Hebrew Learning Center also serves any student that needs additional support during the year.

Upper School students who don’t have any Hebrew background are automatically enrolled in our Bishvil HaIvrit mechinah (preparatory) or Introduction to Hebrew classes,  based on their level, where they receive individualized attention in small groups with a Hebrew teacher.

The goal of the support program is to prepare students to enter a class with their peers.

Curriculum in Upper School

Students in Middle School and in High School continue their path for Hebrew Language proficiency and take their skills to the next level with BiShvil HaIvrit בשביל העברית  By the time our students complete 6th grade and enter Middle school, most of our students are past the novice level and have progressed to be placed in the beginning Intermediate level of Bishvil HaIvrit.

This program is an innovative Hebrew curriculum, developed especially for English-speaking Upper School students by language specialists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and MaTaCh, The Center for Educational Technology (CET) in Israel. Bishvil HaIvrit is also endorsed by the Avi Chai Foundation and administered by Hebrew College in Boston.

This innovative and dynamic curriculum brings Hebrew alive with printed and digital media and cultivates all aspects of Hebrew language learning – grammar and content, conversations and literature, topics for lively discussion, poetry, daily life in Israel, current events and Biblical texts, history and more. The program is also rich in technology activities.

While Bishvil HaIvrit serves as the main program,  our teachers also enrich classes with additional curricular materials, and with projects and activities to further develop students’ Hebrew language skills and connection to Israel. We are using the Ivrit B’Ivrit method of instruction in the classroom, in which Hebrew is the main language of instruction, communication, and assessment.

The goal of all our classes is to increase student’s ability to speak and understand Modern Hebrew Language and to connect with Israeli culture. Classes are taught by native Hebrew speaking teachers 4 times a week, and students are grouped in four different levels, according to their ability in Middle School and in High School as they progress through the Bishvil HaIvrit program. We are proud that many of our students choose to continue their studies in Israel, and most of our High School graduates earn foreign language credits in college in the US.

More on Bishvil Ha-Ivrit Philosophy

The Bishvil Ha-Ivrit program is driven by the belief that mastery of Hebrew promotes students’ understanding of their history, culture and tradition, excites them about lifelong Jewish learning, fosters a sense of belonging to the Jewish people and cultivates strong ties with Medinat Yisrael (the State of Israel) and Am Yisrael (the Jewish people). The Bishvil Ha-Ivrit program seeks to create a community of Hebrew speakers who can grow toward participating in a casual conversation or more complex discussion in Hebrew, enjoy a Hebrew audio clip, read Hebrew texts or an article in an Israeli newspaper using a critical lens, and write an email or an essay about personal, cultural, social, political and global issues.

In order to achieve these goals, Bishvil Ha-Ivrit, rooted in the Communicative Approach, offers students multiple opportunities to develop their 4 communicative skills – speaking, reading, listening and writing, and critical thinking skills through sequential linguistic progression (grammar and vocabulary) embedded in socially relevant themes, resources and learning experiences.

The program introduces students to Hebrew from all historical periods: biblical, rabbinic, medieval, enlightenment and modern, through authentic and adapted texts from a wide variety of genres – conversations, interviews, articles, notes, questionnaires, songs, prose and poetry, and more. As students gradually develop their Hebrew language proficiency and feel at home with the Hebrew language, they also interrogate and become aware of diverse viewpoints on daily life in Israel, Jewish tradition and history, society as a whole, and the world.


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