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My Hebrew Story by Mia Strubel Iram

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My relationship with Hebrew began long before high school. I began speaking Hebrew as a little kid. At home I heard my dad speak it, and throughout my nine years of Jewish Day school my connection to Hebrew deepened as I was immersed in the language. I was initially drawn to the language because of what it represented: my family who lived in Israel, my culture and my Judaism.  

When I left Chicago Jewish Day School, for the first time in my life I had the opportunity to choose the language I wanted learn; I no longer had to learn Hebrew. For a moment I thought of taking Spanish, I considered questions like: Isn’t Spanish a more useful language? Do I really need to take Hebrew if I’ve already been learning in? Those doubts didn’t last long before I realized that I did not need to take a more traditional class to get the things I wanted out of speaking a foreign language. Hebrew is an extremely valuable language. It is unique and will stand out on my future college applications. While Hebrew is a language that I have a religious connection to, many other religions have a connection to Hebrew too, and therefore, my classes could be very diverse. My decision was made clear through the ultimate question: how could I give up on learning a language that I have such a strong connection to? 

If it isn’t clear, I decided to take Hebrew my freshman year at Niles North. Since then, my connection to the language has increased exponentially. My Hebrew class has always been a time in the day that I look forward to, and one where I am happily exposed to new topics. I have learned so much more about the culture and intricacies of the language. Choosing to take Hebrew has impacted my high school experience immensely. It has helped me become more involved in my school and outside community. Looking back, I cannot imagine how different my high school experience would be, had I not chosen to take Hebrew.