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Promoting Hebrew Reading. A coalescing of collection, content, curriculum, collaboration and culture. Sara Ravid Association of Jewish Libraries 41st Annual Convention, Cambridge, MA 19 June 06. ! הבאים ברוכים. Why this workshop? Materials Rationale Challenges What does/not work?

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Promoting hebrew reading

Promoting Hebrew Reading

A coalescing of collection, content, curriculum, collaboration and culture

Sara Ravid

Association of Jewish Libraries

41st Annual Convention, Cambridge, MA

19 June 06

!הבאים ברוכים

  • Why this workshop?

  • Materials

  • Rationale

  • Challenges

  • What does/not work?

  • Moving forward

    • Materials

    • Programs

Why promoting hebrew reading
Why “Promoting Hebrew Reading”

  • Materials ---> Use

  • Opportunity for collaboration

  • Challenge -- we are used to having more than enough information, knowing where to go, etc.

What do we read in hebrew

Biblical/Classical narrative and poetry

Midrash Agadah


Personal writings

Lingua franca

Literature of revival


What do we read in Hebrew?

  • Contemporary

    • Authentic literature

      • Picture books

      • Easy readers

      • Chapter

      • YA

      • Adult

    • Translation

    • World Language learner adaptations of text (Gesher)

  • Note: focus on “Secular” -- not of a religious-legal nature

? עברית למה

  • World Language

  • Jewish lingua franca to past/future

  • Cultural immersion in national-religious identity


  • Budget

  • Collection development

    • Knowledge

    • Availability

  • Collaboration to integrate

    • Time

    • Scheduling

    • Culture

  • Fluency

    • Selecting

    • Promoting

  • Publicity

    • Space

    • Time

Take control
Take control!







So far

What works?

Not much…. Yet!

What doesn’t?



Colloqialisms in literaure

Translation from classics – read in what language??? Also second language learners


So far…

?איימת עכשו לא ואם


  • Materials?

  • Programs?

Session results
Session results:

The following slides present:

  • Overall ideas to try

  • Beginnings of a list of criteria for evaluation of Hebrew-language library materials to be used in pooling our knowledge on the wiki

  • Program ideas

Ideas to try

Make class visits

Hebrew teachers require reports

Find out what requirements/curriculum are

Familiarize yourself with the books

Look at magazines that work for your setting

Gesher short stories


Shahak program – Hebrew in the media in the classroom – WG will report

Graphic novel

Books on tape

Yediot store in nyc

Bay Books – Lexington

Sefer Israel

Music collections – words to CDs – liner notes

Hakhav nold – American Idol – Israeli Amazon – needs Teudat Zeuhut – can call

movies!!! Use the vocab to lead in, spark interest (good for Hi/Lo) Ma’ale films TV – ha-sodot shel Kineret (Misha Shagrir)

Lists!!! Israeli vendor

wiki project

post what worked well by grade level – include 1-2 facts about

Ben Eliezer (?) project – Hebrew poetry

Translation of poetry (also may be blocked by filter) – full text stories (

Valuesfinder – all English

Ideas to try…

Criteria for evaluation of hebrew books
Criteria for evaluation of Hebrew books

  • vocalization

  • script

  • vocabulary

  • content – hashkafah

  • grade level

  • length

  • availability – in print?

  • age of appeal Hi/Lo

  • Adaptation?

  • Translation?

  • subject matter – keywords/annotations

Program ideas

familiarizing yourself – create your own database – binder with information on books -- recommendations at circ desk

peer reviews

bribery!!! For every one you check out, enter into contact

reviews in your school newspaper/world language paper

encourage subcultures – have heritage kids read closer to grade level and book clubs for the non-native speakers

shirei moledet – event around Hebrew songs – website w/3,000,

read with the kids

track their reading over years w/# of pages. Have record-holders – article on Flatbush in Judaica Librarianship

Program ideas: