Hebrew not only is the language of Medinat Yisrael, which is central to our religious and national identity, but also has increasingly become the common language of Jews throughout the world. The goal of the Hebrew Department is to foster the development of conversational Hebrew and literacy skills, including the study of grammar, syntax, and sophisticated literature. The history of Zionism, as well as Israeli current events, are also integral parts of the Hebrew program.
All students are required to take four years of Hebrew language. Multiple tracks in each grade allow students’ diverse needs to be met. Seniors have the option of taking the Bechina Yerushalmit, the Jerusalem Exam of Biblical, medieval, and modern Hebrew literature, for which they can earn college credit.
The goal of the French and Spanish courses is for the students to be able to conduct a conversation, read and write, as well as appreciate various aspects of the culture of those language communities. During the first two years, aural and oral skills are emphasized through the use of tapes, videos, and class conversation. Students write guided compositions to emphasize and employ grammar and vocabulary. In the third and fourth-year classes, advanced grammar is taught and the students are asked to create a portfolio, a year-long project involving peer editing, in which students demonstrate their writing skills.
Frisch students are required to take two years of French or Spanish (with the exception of engineering students or students who are in the Frisch Arts track). Electives for the advanced study of each language are available for eleventh and twelfth graders. Seniors have the option to take Advanced Placement Spanish or French. Each year we publish Las Joyas/Les Bijoux, a magazine of original poetry and stories in Spanish, French, and Hebrew.