June 23, 2024
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June 23, 2024
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MDS Faculty and Parents Bond With Ulpan L’Horim Program

In the midst of a pandemic when connecting with people is a daily challenge, Manhattan Day School is going above and beyond to ensure that parents and faculty can create meaningful bonds.

“We missed the feeling of community and wanted to bring people together,” sais Lital Cohen, director of the Hebrew Department. “We wanted parents to get to know our Hebrew faculty members and do something special for them.”

This led to the formation of Ulpan L’Horim, the school’s first-ever Hebrew language study group for parents. “It’s essential for our students to see their parents make an effort to learn Hebrew so they understand how important it is to learn the language,” said Cohen.

The program meets weekly on Zoom and includes a beginner’s class where parents learn how to speak casual Ivrit via everyday expressions and Israeli songs, as well as an advanced class in which parents learn Ivrit through a study of important Israeli people.

“The class allows me to take a couple of steps in my kids’ shoes with the added benefit of exercising some muscles I haven’t used in 30 years,” said Jonathan Hausner, a parent in the beginner class.

Added Meryl Degen, a parent in the advanced class, “Ulpan L’horim has been an amazing opportunity to speak conversational Hebrew with other parents and our amazing shlichim, Raz and Boaz Ben Horin. Finally, in a year when we don’t have the opportunity to chat with our children’s teachers in a more casual way as we don’t see them in the building, ulpan has afforded me the opportunity to get to know them while learning from them. I am so grateful for this opportunity.”

Raz and Boaz Ben Horin, who joined the faculty as shlichim this year, teach the advanced class. Said Raz, “Boaz and I are so happy to get to know parents in the school. We feel honored that even during this challenging time, there’s an opportunity to learn Ivrit and Israeli culture together on Zoom.”

“Morah Lital infuses the class with great energy,” said Chasya Kellman, a beginner ulpan student. “Even better, it’s free for MDS parents!”

The administration is hopeful that it will become a tradition for future shlichim to teach ulpan, as it’s an important connection for them and the community.

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