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Revolutionizing Hebrew School Pedagogy

We would be lying, though, if learning Hebrew that way was fun or engaging. Most Hebrew school pedagogy continues to be tedious line-by-line activities, even though we’re competing with endless choices for extracurricular activities.

Not much has changed in our approach to teaching, and it may not be surprising to learn that Hebrew school enrollment has plunged dramatically. A newly released census of Jewish religious schools found that enrollment plunged by nearly 45% over the past decade and a half.

Hebrew School vs. After-School Activities

The chance to play soccer, attend dance practice, learn piano, and tinker with robotics has become more enticing than attending Hebrew School after a long day.

As a result, during my 15+ years of Hebrew school experience, I witnessed a growing restlessness among our students. With so much happening in the world and with student mental health in decline, decoding Hebrew words line by line is not going to engage them.

An Overwhelming Need

It’s no secret that Hebrew school teachers are always searching for more interesting and engaging activities for their students. However, many also have full-time jobs and do not have time to create games and activities.

I was motivated to revolutionize the learning experience to keep students interested and engaged with the content. This is how my journey to creating resources that teachers could download, print, and have instant access to.

One of the first games I created was “Hebrew 4-in-a-Row,” and it was an instant hit. With just one photocopy and two different colored pencils, students were socializing and having fun while practicing their Hebrew literacy skills!

After making this activity available onlone, teachers from around the world wanted more.

Although creating Jewish educational materials has been a lot of work, it has been a lot of fun and incredibly rewarding.

The world is changing unbelievably fast, and the way in which we teach in supplemental religious school settings needs to evolve as well. I am proud to say that Alef Bet Games is part of spearheading this movement.

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