May 28, 2024
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BCHA Students Are MOFET Winners

For the past two years, Stamford’s Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy (BCHA) students have entered a unique writing contest on behalf of the MOFET Institute. MOFET is a national intercollegiate center for research, curriculum and program development in teacher education. This year, from BCHA, Jack Fox, a junior, won first place in the category of high schools and universities at the beginner level. Ciro Jacubowicz, a junior, won second place, while Noah Doft, a sophomore, won third place, all for the same category. Emily Seligson, a current senior at BCHA, won third place last year in the advanced level for writing a poem that was a twist on the song “Seven Years Old” by Lukas Graham.

MOFET is designed to “constitute a unique framework both in Israel and worldwide for supporting teacher educators’ professional development.” Its mission is to facilitate educational dialogue in the education system. In addition, MOFET runs the International Online Forum for Hebrew Teachers as an Additional Language, and works in collaboration with Hebrew Today, a magazine written in basic conversational Hebrew.

The contest entries for 2021-2022 were facilitated by BCHA’s Hebrew director and Hebrew teacher, Iris Back. Back was born and raised in Israel and has been working at BCHA for six years teaching Hebrew in grades six to eight. The contest had several categories depending on three grade levels: elementary school, middle school and high school. The students were asked to write a poem or a short story about any topic. Some wrote about dreams because that was the unit they were learning in Hebrew class, while others wrote about life, growing up, etc. The theme of the students who won this past semester was “Big City’’ for the short story category.

Students learning Hebrew as an Additional Language around the world participated in this competition, and only a few winners were chosen for each category and grade level.

Bi-Cultural students have shown immense aptitude and creativity in the field of Hebrew language, and have made the faculty, and especially Back, very proud. Like any writing competition at BCHA it is not mandatory to participate, but the teachers do encourage students to enter and show off their work. Back explained: “Creative writing in the mother tongue of Hebrew is not always easy and is especially challenging when it’s not one’s native language. I am proud of the students who took up the challenge and participated in the competition. Dozens of students have already participated in the past and present. And when you receive the award of joy, it is bigger.” BCHA eagerly awaits the entries for next year’s Hebrew writing competition sponsored by MOFET.

By Julianne Yvette Katz

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