Chabad Mercer Island advances Hebrew literacy through course

Posted Tuesday, Mar 5th, 2024

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, only half of American Jews (52%) can read Hebrew. To fill this gap in Jewish education, the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) has developed Read it in Hebrew, an innovative Hebrew reading course that is sweeping the Jewish world.

With interactive flashcards and its own app for remote learning, Read it in Hebrew utilizes the latest technology to combine timeless learning methods with contemporary psychology for a course guaranteed to be effective in only five sessions.

Chabad Mercer Island will present the course from 7:30-8:30 p.m. on five Mondays starting on March 11. Interested students may call 206.851.2324 or visit for registration and for other course-related information. Enrollment is open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a synagogue, temple or other house of worship.

Read it in Hebrew has been taught at more than 750 locations across North America, enabling thousands of people to read Hebrew, and interest is building.

“The popularity of Read it in Hebrew suggests that it meets a deeply-felt need,” explains Rabbi Nissan Kornfeld of Chabad Mercer Island. “Many feel lost in synagogue simply because they don’t know how to read Hebrew. Learning to read Hebrew strengthens one’s connection to Judaism and the Jewish people in a powerful way.”

Read it in Hebrew appeals to people at all levels of Jewish education, including those without any prior experience in Jewish learning as well as those for whom it is a fun refresher course. With flashcards depicting the letters alongside catchy mnemonics, Read in Hebrew feels like a game of concentration. And, more than just a reading course, students get a glimpse of the profound depth of the Hebrew language, including brief Talmudic and Kabbalistic explanations of the letters.

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