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Hebrew FAQ

Q: When should my child start Hebrew classes?

A: DJCS Hebrew classes begin in Grade 2.  A minority of students delay the start until Grade 3.  DJCS Hebrew classes are grouped by Hebrew level, not age, so a Hebrew Level 1 class is usually composed of grade 2 and 3 children.  Students waiting to start Hebrew until grade 3 will graduate with one less year of Hebrew experience.


Q: What is the difference in curriculum between the two Hebrew streams?

A: The ALEF stream has 2.5 hours of Hebrew language study per week with attendance on Sunday and Wednesdays. The BET stream is one hour of Hebrew language study per week , on Sundays only. The BET stream curriculum covers less than half the material per year than the ALEF stream. The  ALEF Stream curriculum includes Siddur Hebrew, some Modern Hebrew language and some conversational Hebrew. The BET stream is significantly less intensive and focuses only on Siddur Hebrew. To maintain the Hebrew learning skills, BET stream students typically require more review at home during the week.


Q: My child is just starting Hebrew.  How do I know which Hebrew option to choose?

A: The ALEF stream is considered the advanced level of Hebrew at the DJCS. If your child is just starting Hebrew (entering grade 2 or 3 in September) and can attend classes on Wednesdays, the ALEF stream is encouraged to support greater advancement in Hebrew learning.  Students attending the ALEF stream will learn significantly more Hebrew than BET , due to the increased number of instruction hours. Parents who wish their child to have a stronger Hebrew background for Bar/Bat MItzvah preparation are advised to choose the ALEF stream.


Q: Is Hebrew Language instruction Offered without the Jewish Studies program?

A: No. If you do not wish any Hebrew language instruction for your child, please indicate this on the registration form.


Q: Will students in the BET stream qualify for Bar/Bat Mitzvah?

A: Synagogues vary in their requirements. For synagogues that  require a minimum of 100 contact hours of Jewish education per year, the BET stream will qualify as total hours are just over this amount. Check with your synagogue to confirm the criteria.


Q: Will there be a separate Hebrew class for each stream at every Hebrew level?

A: No.  To ensure minimum class size, Hebrew levels are often combined. However, ALEF students will always study in a separate smaller group on Wednesdays, for their additional weekly class. Hebrew Level 5 & 6 classes are usually combined every year. When classes are combined, a TA may be provided as needed.


Q: My child is currently in the BET stream.  May she change to the more intensive ALEF stream for next year?

A: Ability level is considered on an individual basis in order to change from BET to the more intensive ALEF stream. Typically private tutoring is required to facilitate this. Application must be made on an individual basis.  Contact your child’s current Hebrew teacher or our Principal.


Q: My child is currently in the ALEF stream and we find Wednesdays difficult.   May she change to the once/week BET stream next year?

A: The DJCS recognizes personal situations may change with regard to the ability to attend twice weekly for ALEF students. However, changing from ALEF to BET is only recommended for students who are significantly behind in the ALEF stream.  Because ALEF Hebrew stream has more than twice the contact hours of BET, students in ALEF Hebrew may be advanced in their level by one or more years than BET stream. Note that once annual registration fees are paid, no rebate will be provided. See cancellation policy.

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