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My Hebrew Story by Abby Lapins

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Mia Strubel Iram

From the sign marking “ delet” on my kindergarten Sunday school class, to the door of my cabin in Chalutzim, the OSRUI Hebrew immersion program, Hebrew has been a part of my life for longer than I can remember. When I moved to Stevenson’s school district, I signed up for Hebrew class right away only to be told there wasn’t enough interest to run a class. Devastated, I waited a year and tried again to try to take Hebrew again my sophomore year.  

Lo and behold, the Hebrew program at Stevenson High School was reborn with me, a transfer student from Wisconsin as its number one fan.  Right off the bat I devoted my extra time to helping promote the Hebrew program. I worked closely with our amazing teacher Anna Gorbikoff to make sure our status as a program was known in our community. We spent months working on plans for the Hebrew program’s events partnering with our Club Israel and World’s Fair to make our dreams a reality. Finally, we held our very own event for the whole school, Israel Day, a day where we opened our community to the rest of the school so they could see how unique and special a community united by a common language can be.  But we didn’t stop at Israel Day; if we were capable of pulling off an event like that, who knows what else we are capable of.  

Fast forward another a semester and an official chapter of Hebrew National Honor Society (HNHS) was founded at Stevenson High School. I am personally connected to HNHS in many ways. Not only did I work diligently beside Mrs. Gorbikoff and my peers to bring this to fruition, I also served as the Vice President, and now the President. Truthfully, I couldn’t dream of anything more rewarding.   

I have watched our community go from 17 students from all three levels of Hebrew combined, to at least 17 students in EACH of the three levels currently offered. Our HNHS has grown from eight members with two people on the executive board to 16 general members and a full executive board. I have been there every step of the way, lending a hand, a pencil, or a session of peer tutoring whenever anyone has needed it. This community has given me the chance to be a part of something I couldn’t have dreamed of in a million years. I have learned so much more about the Hebrew language and culture than I ever thought I possibly could. Most importantly, having Hebrew be a part of my life has shown me that it won’t be over with my graduation from high school, that high school is only one chapter in my Hebrew story.