Editorial for AJN Education Supplement 10 May 2019

HIP – Bringing Hebrew Into More Schools

UJEB’s Hebrew Immersion Program (HIP) is creating a groundswell of support for bringing Hebrew study and Jewish culture into Melbourne’s public schools.

Over the last 10 years, HIP has run successfully at Caulfield Junior College (CJC), which now teaches Hebrew to over 80 students. Since taking over management of HIP in 2018, UJEB has been approached by parent groups at several other schools to replicate the concept.

In February, HIP commenced at Caulfield South Primary School (CSPS) with more than 50 students. Joel, father of a grade 1 HIP student Toby, said that “Toby loves it. He’s got a pretty decent Hebrew vocabulary, which is really good. He’s really enjoying it and I’m over the moon!”

HIP classes also started this May at Gardenvale Primary, with 25 students. With Gardenvale, UJEB realised that different versions of the model are needed to suit different school communities. Gardenvale is running 2 mornings per week, as opposed to 3 at the other schools. A “Once-a-week HIP” is also starting this May at Tucker Road and Coatesville, and at Elwood Primary in term 3.

HIP is a dynamic and rigorous language program, which teaches students to speak, read and write Hebrew. Graduates are armed with knowledge and skills to engage in further Hebrew study in secondary school. HIP also includes Jewish culture, such as festivals, traditions and music. At CJC this program has opened the door for whole-school celebrations of major Jewish festivals.

More than just learning Hebrew, the Hebrew Immersion Program creates a space for Jewish students at public schools to feel that our culture is part of the school community. HIP students study Hebrew with their school friends, building a sense of belonging and identity inside the school. They connect to Jewish culture through our language, and are also proud to present Jewish traditions to the wider community.

UJEB’s annual appeal is starting in May, and we ask all of our parents, friends and supporters to contribute. Your donations will enable UJEB to keep building HIP and our other important programs that are engaging the future of our community!

HIP teacher Osnat with student Toby at Caulfield South Primary School

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