Merkaz Ivrit: Temple Beth-El of Great Neck’s new Hebrew center for kids

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Children participate in Temple Beth'El's new supplemental Hebrew program. (Photos courtesy of Temple Beth-El)

Temple Beth-El of Great Neck recently introduced a new, supplemental Hebrew learning program called Merkaz Ivrit, meaning “Hebrew Center” in Hebrew, representing a dynamic new shift in its approach to religious education.

The new program, created and launched by Rabbi Elle Muhlbaum, is working to build upon the Hebrew fundamentals that the Temple’s religious school students are receiving weekly by working in small, skill-based groups for an hour each week. The students practice reading and writing, become familiar with speaking Hebrew, and dive deeply into the prayers of siddurim (prayer books).

The classes are taught weekly by an esteemed faculty team including many native Hebrew speakers and seasoned educators. Merkaz Ivrit was launched after a successful pilot last year proved that the program has the potential to take Hebrew learning to a new level at Temple Beth-El.

“We are proud to be able to provide high-level Hebrew education to our member families. The transformation in our Hebrew program will, in turn, transform the way b’nei mitzvah training and general Jewish literacy develops in our community,” said Rabbi Elle Muhlbaum, who joined the Temple Beth-El of Great Neck clergy team in 2016.

“I’m very grateful to our lay leadership and clergy team who have helped empower me to make these changes in our educational strategy,” Muhlbaum added.

The response to the program has been positive from the religious school families.

“Merkaz Ivrit has been a transformative experience for my child,” said one parent of a fifth grader. “The entire Religious School experience has been enhanced.”

To find out more about Merkaz Ivrit and the Temple Beth-El of Great Neck Religious School, visit: www.tbegreatneck.org.

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