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Hebrew Department

Department Chair: Mrs. Merav Tal-Timen

Ma’ayanot’s Hebrew curriculum was developed with the following goals in mind:

  • To instill a love of the Hebrew language, love of the land of Israel and the State of Israel, and a sense of personal connection to Jewish and Israeli cultures
  • To foster involvement and investment in the current political, social, religious, and economic issues in the State of Israel
  • To develop students’ ability to use the four language skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening
  •  To help students develop as independent learners who are experienced in various learning approaches. Emphasis is placed on fostering students’ skill at group work, personal expression, contributing to a larger group, leadership, and collaboration.
  • To develop general and specific knowledge emanating from the texts and activities in which the students are involved


All students are required to take three years of Hebrew and have the option to choose a Hebrew elective in 12th grade. In addition, Hebrew electives are offered in grades 9-11 to supplement required Hebrew language courses

Throughout the Hebrew curriculum, emphasis is placed on listening and reading comprehension, mastery of the written word, and active self-expression through study of prose, poetry, dialogues, and expository pieces. Students consider examples of different literary genres, both ancient and modern.

In each grade, a different theme is explored and developed. In 9th grade, students focus on the revival of the Hebrew language and the state of Israel. In 10th grade, students learn about the building of the land and Israeli society. In 11th grade, students explore the theme of “bein adam lehavero,” with discussion of tolerance and stereotyping. 

Behina Yerushalmit and Ulpan are offered in 12th grade.

Tracking:  All mandatory Hebrew classes (9th - 11th grade) are tracked. Senior electives are not tracked. Hebrew classes are tracked independently of other disciplines.


Bechina Yerushalmit is designed for students who would like to continue their Hebrew literature studies at an advanced level. The extensive curriculum also includes segments of Tanakh, Tefilla, Mishnah and Jewish Thought. At the end of the year, students in this class take the Jerusalem Examination, which tests knowledge of Hebrew literature from all periods of Jewish history. It also assesses knowledge of Hebrew by testing comprehension of an unseen passage and requiring students to complete a short composition assignment and grammar exercises. Some colleges award considerable credit for successful completion of the Bechina Yerushalmit. More about the Jerusalem Examination can be found here:


Contemporary Hebrew is conducted entirely in Hebrew, and prepares students to converse comfrtably in Israel. Students read literary works, current newspaper articles, and websites in order to gain information about subjects related to modern Israel, increase their fluency in reading comprehension, and improve their skills in conversation and written expression.