The five-week “Read it in Hebrew” program, a project of Chabad Mercer Island and Island Synagogue, begins March 7. Courtesy photo

Chabad Mercer Island introduces Hebrew reading crash course

  • Thursday, February 23, 2017 10:55am
  • News

“Read it in Hebrew,” a new, cutting-edge Hebrew reading crash course, is coming to Mercer Island in March.

The flashcard-based language course, developed by the Jewish Learning Institute, teaches users how to read Hebrew in five weeks. Rabbi Nissan Kornfeld of Chabad Mercer Island will conduct the five sessions of the new course at Island Synagogue from 7-8 p.m. on Tuesdays, beginning March 7.

“Many people feel lost in synagogue, because they don’t know how to read Hebrew,” explains Rabbi Levi Kaplan of JLI’s headquarters in Brooklyn. “We have found that learning how to read Hebrew strengthens one’s feeling of connection to Judaism in a powerful way. ‘Read it in Hebrew’ fills a tremendous need.”

Already a hit with communities around the world, “Read it in Hebrew” has been tried successfully in over 150 Chabad Houses, camps and schools, enabling over 1,000 students to read Hebrew, according to a press release from Chabad Mercer Island.

The first two lessons of “Read it in Hebrew” focus on the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, while the last three lessons introduce vowels and teach students how to read words. With flashcards portraying the letters alongside catchy mnemonics that make the information memorable and easy to digest, “Read it in Hebrew” allows students to absorb information quickly and efficiently.

“Read it in Hebrew” utilizes a timeless teaching method espoused by the Jewish sages for generations. In addition to reading skills, students get a glimpse into the holiness and depth of the Hebrew language, including brief kabbalistic explanations of the Hebrew letters.

“Finally, a fun and easy-to-use program that teaches us how to read in the language of our ancestors,” Kornfeld stated. “If you want to participate in synagogue but find it hard to follow what’s going on, this is for you. Language no longer needs to be a barrier between Jewish people and their heritage.”

“Read it in Hebrew” is designed to appeal to people at all levels of Jewish knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. The course is open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple or other house of worship.

Interested students may call 206-851-2324 or visit www.chabadmercerisland.org/riih for registration and for other course-related information.

Chabad Mercer Island offers Jewish education, outreach and social service programming for families and individuals of all ages, backgrounds and affiliations. For more information, contact Rabbi Nissan Kornfeld at 206-851-2324, nissan@chabadmercerisland.org or visit ChabadMercerIsland.org.

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