No Hebrew at Hebrew-English charter

A Hebrew-English charter school that just opened in Broward County, Florida was ordered by the school board not to teach Hebrew till the board’s monitor certifies that teaching the language won’t cross the line into teaching religion. The board had approved the Hebrew curriculum in the spring, then decided it was questionable because of religious references.

Reluctantly, Ben Gamia has complied with the order.

The school board had a chance to work this out before the start of school. Why not send the monitor to observe rather than turning the school monolingual?

Many of the students transferred from private Hebrew day schools, reports the New York Times, but the school has attracted some Spanish-speaking students and some black students, who are bused from a Baptist church.

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  1. Richard Cook says:

    Teaching a language is teaching religion? Huh?

    Thou Lord of power and might, smite the accursed regulators and banish them to the outer darkness where there will be much sighing and knashing of teeth. Amen

  2. This may be an attempt to prevent would-be pushers of Arabic education to claim discrimination when their wishes are denied.

    Then again, maybe it’s just anti-Semitism.

  3. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Would they demand such a guarantee from an Islamic school? I double D doubt it.

  4. Ah, the pervasive sanity of life and politics in my own beloved Broward County… 😉

  5. The ACLU and the PC Police are at it again. Teaching a langauge is not teaching religon. Language is how people communicate. I am American, Christian, and am learnig Hebrew. Why? Not to convert. I met a girl from Israel with whom I clicked. She knows my language-English. At least I can learn hers.

  6. Matt, Hebrew is a special case, in that outside of Israel it just hasn’t used for secular purposes in over 1,000 years. There were immigrant communities in this country where German, French, Swedish, Polish, etc., were spoken and presently ones where Spanish, Arabic, and some , but the Jewish-American immigrant communities spoke other languages such as Yiddish (a German dialect) rather then Hebrew except for matters of worship.

    That’s not to say that it won’t be possible to run a secular Hebrew school, but you won’t find the materials and methods in the USA. They’ll have to go to Israel for them.

  7. Please do some research. There are currently many charter schools that concentrate on a certain language including Arabic that have been open for many years. I do not remember hearing this much controversy regarding those schools. Why is such a problem to teach Hebrew. I do not speak Hebrew byt would love my children to lear. I am not religious and do not expect my children to learn the religion. The only people that have a problem are the ones that do not understand the difference between religion and the language.