B’nai Israel Congregation hosts 16th Annual Read Hebrew America and Canada

by | Oct 11, 2013 | What’s Happening

Mondays, Nov. 4, Nov. 11, Nov. 18, Nov. 25, and Dec. 9, 7:30 pm

Members of Tidewater’s Jewish community have an opportunity to participate in a continent-wide campaign to teach North American Jews to read Hebrew beginning Monday, Nov. 4. Classes take place at B’nai Israel Congregation.

Conceived and orchestrated by the NJOP in 1998, Read Hebrew America and Canada is expected to reach 12,000 affiliated and unaffiliated Jews in the United States and Canada this year.

B’nai Israel is one of 600 Jewish institutions hosting Read Hebrew America and Canada. Led by Rabbi Sender Haber, the five-week Hebrew reading crash course will focus on teaching the Hebrew alphabet and basic reading skills to Jews with little or no background in Hebrew.

The classes are open to all members of Tidewater’s Jewish community.

“Twenty years of experience in teaching over 234,700 North American Jews to read Hebrew has taught us that for most unaffiliated Jews, Hebrew literacy is a crucial first step towards personal Jewish empowerment and enthusiastic communal involvement. Without the ability to read Hebrew, many Jews feel alienated from religious services and shy away from involvement in Jewish ritual observances and traditions,” says Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald, founder and director of NJOP (formerly National Jewish Outreach program).

While no surveys or studies specifically report on the state of Hebrew literacy in North America, experts agree that, at an absolute minimum, 80% of all North American Jews do not know how to read Hebrew.

Read Hebrew America and Canada is the first continent-wide program designed to introduce North American Jews to the Hebrew language.

B’nai Israel is located at 420 Spotswood Ave. in Norfolk. This class is one of many initiatives to offer Jewish education and user friendly services in an Orthodox environment for Jews of all walks of life. For more information about Read Hebrew America and Canada, call B’nai Israel at 757-627- 7358 or NJOP at 800-44-HEBRE(W).