I first chose to take Hebrew in high school because I had taken Hebrew at my Jewish day school which I went through eighth grade, and I wanted to continue learning the language. I had enjoyed learning Hebrew at my Jewish day school, but taking Hebrew in a public high school truly allowed me to appreciate the uniqueness of the language and the opportunities that I had been given to study it in day school, at my public high school, and at overnight camp.
Hebrew is a language rich in history, meaning, and nuances that is fascinating to break down and analyze. The intuitive patterns in Hebrew make the language surprisingly straightforward to learn. However, my strongest connection to Hebrew comes from the people I have met through my studies. Hebrew class in high school has been an extremely important community for me. Most Hebrew classes are mixed grade levels which brings a sense of “family” into these classes. My Hebrew teachers and faculty advisor with my independent study have been supportive presences that have urged me to dig deeper about myself and into Hebrew. Being able to speak to Israelis because of my knowledge of Hebrew has been the best part. I stayed with an Israeli family for a week going into junior year and because I knew Hebrew, I was able to deepen my connection with the host family. Additionally, knowing Hebrew has allowed me to connect to Israeli camp counselors at my summer camp.
Also, the Israeli culture that I have learned about through studying Hebrew, is absolutely fantastic. I love listening to Israeli music and watching TV shows in Hebrew. Knowing Hebrew has allowed me to delve into a culture that I love!
Regardless of religion or beliefs, Hebrew is an incredibly useful language that has the power to open a multitude of doors; professionally, socially, and on a more personal level. I highly recommend that others take Hebrew to build the same kinds of connections that I was able to build through my study of Hebrew and to be exposed to an awesome language!