"Is the Leadership Glass Half-Full?"
by Ariel Beery in eJewish Philanthropy Posted on October 27, 2010
Once a month, in three locations as of this day, young Jewish parents gather in neighborhood associations with their young children to play Hebrew games. One part educational opportunity for children, another part friend-making opportunity for parents, HebrewPlay - a new venture founded by Michael Goldstein (a CJP/PresenTense Fellow 2010) and now headed by Shirah Rubin - engages approximately a hundred Jewish couples in New England in the act of raising bilingual children with deep Hebrew language roots. Looking through the lens of a new study published by the AviChai Foundation called “Generation of Change,” Michael, Shirah and the hundreds of parents who join them are young Jewish leaders, staking out the terms of their engagement with the Jewish community and setting the tone for our [Read more...]
"That's Not Baby Talk - it's Hebrew"
by Elise Krigner in the Jewish Advocate May 4, 2012
by Renee-Ghert- Zand October 11, 2010 published in Kveller
Since last fall, 145 families in the Boston-Providence area have established Hebrew playgroups for their babies and toddlers, sponsored by a website called Hebrew Play. From day one, these moms and dads are referring to themselves as ima and aba, changing a lot of chitulim (diapers), and hoping that their babies will stop crying if they give them a motzetz (pacifier) to suck on.The groups are modeled after other types of parent-led playgroups, with the only difference being that these are conducted exclusively in Hebrew. Continue reading....
"It Takes A Village"
by Shirah Rubin in Shalom Magazine in March, 2013
I had a secret that I did not share with other kids when I was in elementary school - I loved Hebrew school. I enjoyed Hebrew school because I had extended family visit from Israel and speak Hebrew
around me. I did not understand them and this foreign language piqued my interest. In 3rd grade I also had an Israeli teacher who made Hebrew a living language. Fast forwarding to my post-college period, I lived and worked in Israel and continued learning Hebrew over many
Later, back in the US and after getting married, it was my husband's idea that I use my background to speak to our daughters in Hebrew after they were born. There were a few major reasons this was
appealing. As we learned, recent neurological research has found that exposure to more than one language stimulates brain development in young children. We also wanted our children to know Hebrew because we view it as the key to comprehensively accessing Jewish culture and
texts past, present, and future. To give our children the gift of a second language would be the gift of understanding a different perspective and worldview since language and culture are inextricably linked.
Hebrew is the Jewish past and the Jewish future. Israeli secular and religious life will exert increasing influence on our and all diaspora communities and become the Jewish "glue" that binds American Jews to each other, to Israelis, and to Judaism as a whole. For Israelis in America, Hebrew is an aspect of their identity, their values, their culture, and their best chance to transmit these elements to their children. Hebrew Play is for all Jewish children of every background
to help them begin a journey of Hebrew mastery. We hope that Hebrew knowledge will impart to our children an engaged immersion in Jewish culture and access to the existential nature of
The above article is an abstract. The full article is here.
Hebrew Play alumni family make aliyah -
The Hardest Part of Moving to Israel With Kids
by Abbey Onn in Kveller on April 5th 2015
My son’s first words to me when he woke up this morning were: “Mom, I want to sleep in our real house.” He uttered this sentiment while sitting amidst blankets on the floor of my parents’ living room, his toys strewn on the couch in front of him and upwards of 10 suitcases framing the room around him. We are five days away from moving from Brookline, MA to a town just north of Tel Aviv in Israel, and my son wants stability. Continue reading..