Hebrew language is more than an academic subject at CESJDS. It is an expression of our Core Value of Ahavat Yisra-el/Love Of Israel. We believe that through the study and eventual mastery of our language, our students will develop an inextricable bond with the people, land, and culture of the People of Israel and the texts of our tradition.
The Lower School uses the Proficiency Approach to second language acquisition for development of Hebrew Language skills. This approach focuses on developing communicative language within our students, with the goal for students - after several years of study beginning in the Lower School and extending through Middle and High Schools - to become naturally and authentically conversant in Hebrew. For a number of years, we have been using the fully integrated TaL AM Hebrew Heritage Language program as the primary materials for learning, while supplementing with additional sources, including authentic Israeli literary texts. TaL AM’s research-based, spiraled curriculum is designed with the understanding that the best learning environment for second language acquisition is one in which students are actively engaged with the language being taught through a variety of modalities, the multiple intelligences, and all five senses. Applying the methodology of the proficiency approach, our program - developed in collaboration with Hebrew at the Center (HATC) - focuses on the development of all four key areas of language acquisition: speaking, comprehension (oral and reading), reading, and writing. As students progress through their Lower School years, their language skills develop toward fluency. In the school, the Hebrew environment is not limited to Judaic Studies classrooms. Hebrew is infused into the daily life of the school in a variety of ways so that Hebrew stands as a characteristic aspect of the life and culture of the school, not just a subject studied in Judaic Studies class.