Staten Island Hebrew Public approved by Board of Regents

For immediate release
November 14, 2018

Staten Island Hebrew Public approved by Board of Regents
New Charter School in Ocean Terrace set to open to students in
Fall of 2020 

Staten Island, NY – The New York State Board of Regents has authorized the opening of Staten Island Hebrew Public Charter School, a school that will be part of the Hebrew Public school network. 

Hebrew Public, a New York-based nonprofit that manages three public charter schools in New York City, will work with the new school’s board to open the school in the Fall of 2020. 

The school will be located in Community School District (CSD) 31 in Ocean Terrace on Staten Island’s North Shore. The school is open to all children eligible for kindergarten and first grade residing in New York City, with preference given to residents of Staten Island. Staten Island Hebrew Public proposes to serve 162 students in grades K-1 during the first year of the charter term and grow to serve 522 students in grades K-5 at full capacity.  

Each Hebrew Public network school emphasizes global citizenship, serves students from all backgrounds, and provides a rigorous and supportive academic program that includes a focus on the study of Modern Hebrew. 

Jon Rosenberg, President , and CEO of Hebrew Public, which also works with five affiliated schools around the country, said the Regent’s approval is a testament to the network ’s hard work, dedication, and commitment to our great city’s children. 

For those looking for more information on the school and pre-enrollment are encouraged to visit: http://sihebrewpublic.org. 

Hebrew Public’s mission is to lead a national movement of exceptional, diverse public charter schools that teach Modern Hebrew to children of all backgrounds and prepare them to be successful global citizens. 

Philadelphia Hebrew Public approved by School Reform Commission

For immediate release

May 24, 2018

Philadelphia Hebrew Public approved by School Reform Commission
New charter school in East Falls set to open to students August 26, 2019

Philadelphia, PA – In tonight’s meeting of the School Reform Commission (SRC), the majority of members present voted to approve with conditions the charter of Philadelphia Hebrew Public Charter School. Hebrew Public currently operates three nonprofit public charter schools in New York and supports an affiliated network of schools across the country. At a time of persistent racial and economic isolation in our nation’s schools, Hebrew Public is a leading network in the emerging movement of “diverse-by-design” charter schools: schools that are intentionally designed to be racially and economically diverse, and to help reduce patterns of racial and economic isolation in America’s public schools.

“We have a national model of success that we are excited to bring to Philadelphia,” said President and CEO Jon Rosenberg. “We are educating a cohort of global citizens through our diverse student body and rigorous curriculum. Hebrew Public has seen these values across Philadelphia which is echoed in out outpour of support. We have been working in a multitude of neighborhoods and are looking forward to this vision becoming a reality next Fall.”

Philadelphia Hebrew Public Charter School’s mission is to inspire and prepare its diverse student body for advanced studies through a rigorous K-8 curriculum, instruction in Modern Hebrew, and the integration of global citizenship competencies. Ultimately, the school aims to  serve as a model of how meaningful integration in public schools can boost academic outcomes and positively develop student skills and values. Students will emerge as highly educated, globally aware, ethical citizens who are prepared with a foundation for success in high school, college, the workplace, and society.

The application received extensive support from community organizations, potential partners, politicians, preschool centers, and interested families including more pre-enrollment forms than there are spots available in the opening year. The school will open in in August 2019 serving 156 students in grades K-1 in its inaugural year and expand to 702 students in grades K-8 by 2026-27.

For those looking for more information on the school and pre-enrollment are encouraged to visit http://philadelphiahebrewpublic.org.

From the President: Philadelphia Hebrew Public Charter School Application

To: Philadelphia School Reform Commission
From: Jon Rosenberg, Hebrew Public CEO
Subject: Philadelphia Hebrew Public Charter School Application
Date: May 17, 2018

On behalf of the whole Philadelphia Hebrew Public team, I’d like to thank the SRC for your consideration of our application to open a new school in 2019. We were pleased and grateful to have received such a positive Evaluation Report from the Charter Schools Office. We took feedback from the Charter Schools Office and SRC adjudication very seriously, and we strongly believe that the revised application addressing each note from evaluators demonstrates our commitment to Philadelphia.

We are confident that we have met the requirements of the Charter School Law relating to new school proposals. Further, we have met each of the criteria put forth in the charter school application guidelines: including complying with the Charter School Law, demonstrating our capacity and capabilites to provide a comprehensive learning experience to all students, demonstrating sustainable community support, and serving as a model for innovation as Philadelphia’s first diverse-by-design charter school.

We appreciate the Charter Schools Office’s prompt revision of the Evaluation Report, so that it now acknowledges that our application fully meets state curriculum standards. The report noted some concern about the appeal of Modern Hebrew to families in Philadelphia. We think this concern is unwarranted, given the overwhelming demonstrated interest from parents, including more intent to enroll forms than there are spots for eligible families in our opening years. Further, we continue to receive intent to enroll forms each day, including a dozen more from eligible families since our revised application submission. These families represent diverse communities and are all interested in our model of Modern Hebrew and global citizenship.

Twenty-five elected officials, community organizations, churches, program partners, and preschool programs submitted letters detailing their support of our model, intent to partner with us, and request for the SRC to approve our school. Among this group are Representatives Donna Bullock and Jared Solomon, both of whose nearby and diverse communities we would serve. Teachers, parents, and center directors at KenCrest early childhood education centers expressed deep support for the school, particularly given the diverse crosssection of families enrolled in their HeadStart and PreK Counts programs.

I come from New York City, one of the most segregated cities in the US.  Despite that segregation, Hebrew Public has created 3 schools there that are among the most racially and economically integrated in the City.  Philadelphia is a great city that nonetheless suffers from its own severe segregation.  We urge you to approve our creation of a diverse and integrated school here.  This map shows both the extreme segregation in the city’s neighborhoods and the diversity of communities from which Philadlephia Hebrew Public would draw students.  If approved to open, we will create a school to make Philadelphia proud, one that will bring together teachers, students, and families from a wide array of backgrounds, and that will forge a community of shared values of empathy, cross-cultural communication, caring, and excellence.

Thank you.

Jon Rosenberg

 Jon E-Signature

Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Approved for Middle School Expansion

Board of Regents approved four-year renewal for Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School

Hebrew Public adds third middle school to its network

NEW YORK – The New York State Board of Regents formally approved Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School for a four-year charter renewal and middle school expansion.

Harlem Hebrew, part of the Hebrew Public network of schools, will now serve grades K-6 starting this fall, adding a grade each year until it becomes a full K-8 middle school. The new middle school will be housed in the school’s newly expanded facility, which is nearing completion.

“We want to thank the Board of Regents, and all who were instrumental in making this a success, for their support and validation of our model,” President and CEO of Hebrew Public, Jonathan Rosenberg said. “This renewal and expansion is not only a tremendous achievement for Harlem Hebrew but an assurance to our students and families that they will continue to receive the exceptional academic foundation necessary to succeed in high school and beyond.”

Harlem Hebrew’s middle school will now be the third middle school in the Hebrew Public network, joining Hebrew Language Academy and Hatikvah International Academy which both opened in 2015.

Founded in 2013, Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School is located in Manhattan’s CSD3 and now serves more than 400 students from kindergarten to fifth grade.


Hebrew Public is leading a national movement of exceptional, diverse public charter schools that teach Modern Hebrew to children of all backgrounds and prepare them to be successful global citizens. The network includes schools in Brooklyn, Harlem, New Jersey, Washington, DC, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis.

Charlottesville – A Special Message from Our CEO Jon Rosenberg

Dear members of the Hebrew Public community,

Most of us have been struggling to process what has been happening in our country in the days since the protests and violence in Charlottesville.  Personally, I have struggled for a week now to put pen to paper, knowing that it is still summer vacation for our students, and that our teachers do not return to work until today.  Among other things, I am keenly aware that it is rarely appropriate for a public school organization’s leader to make what might be considered political statements.

I don’t believe, however, that what I am about to say is a political statement so much as a moral one.  A society, a government, a community, and a public school can reflect many divergent ideas.  Schools, even for young children, should be places that encourage discourse and debate.

But there should be no debate about the merits of hatred.  There should be no debate, no endorsement, and no tolerance for beliefs that claim superiority of one race or ethnicity or religion over others.  Creating room for different views is not the same as creating room for the expressions of hatred, of racism, of anti-Semitism, of xenophobia that have been on increasing display in our country.

Hebrew Public’s schools are “diverse-by-design.”  They are schools for everyone – from every background.  The community we try to create is one in which students are exposed to difference and taught to appreciate it.  It is one in which diversity of language, culture and religion are celebrated.  We strive to teach empathy and understanding, developing in our students skills of communication and partnership that are keys to the future.

We will stick to our mission, to our commitments to both academic excellence and global citizenship.  We will reinforce our commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion for all of our students, families, and staff members.

When I visit our schools, I see a hoped-for future.  Charlottesville and its aftermath show us that this future is not guaranteed – that it requires vigilance, effort, and moral courage to attain.  We will do everything we can to ensure that all of the children in our care reach that future successfully and together.

Jon.

**This message is also available in Hebrew, Russian, Spanish and Creole.

 

WE’VE CHANGED OUR NAME!

I am excited to announce that we have changed the name of our organization from “the Hebrew Charter School Center” to the much simpler [drum roll…]: “Hebrew Public.”  We are also adopting a new tagline: “Charter Schools for Global Citizens.”

A bit of background on the change:

When our organization was created back in 2009, our corporate name was actually “The National Center for Hebrew Language Charter School Excellence and Development, Inc.”  That mouthful was immediately shortened to “Hebrew Charter School Center,” which was used through the end of 2015.  Now, as we move into our next phase of growth, we have become Hebrew Public.

It was important for us to do this.  We are a network of public schools serving children from all backgrounds, but people would often react to our name and ask: Do your schools teach religion? Aren’t your schools private? Are they only for Jewish students?  [Answers: No, No, and No.]

Beginning in the spring of 2015, we engaged a branding firm to guide us through a thorough self-examination process, then intense brainstorming that resulted in more than 200 naming ideas, and finally through a public vetting process involving people from all walks of life, including teachers, parents, journalists, supporters, and many others. In the end, Hebrew Public won favor with a marked majority of respondents, and the Board voted to approve the change in December. In the coming months we will be rolling out this new name and a sharper, more compelling visual identity, incorporating the new logo you see on this page.

Stay tuned!

Jon Rosenberg
President and CEO

STEM GRANT FOR SELA

The Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies, Sidney M. & Phyllis O. Bresler Foundation, and other partners have awarded Sela, our school in Washington, D.C., a two-year, $300,000 grant for its STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) program.

The grant comes at a perfect time for Sela, which is well-placed to expand its STEM program and prepare students for careers that require math and science, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving. Sela’s STEM program is considered unique in the Washington D.C. area because of the school’s English/Hebrew instruction model that includes an emphasis on the culture and history of Israel.

Learning from Israel’s high tech and entrepreneurial culture is a great way to provide students with a model of creativity and innovation. Our connection to Israeli start-up culture naturally aligns with our teaching philosophy.

The grant will also help Sela incorporate several components in its growing STEM program; among them:

  • Classroom Integration:  Through a variety of lessons, students will use Chromebooks, digital cameras, digital video cameras, and a wide range of software programs.  Teachers will participate in professional development programs to foster their knowledge of technology.
  • Stations in the STEM Room:  Students will engage in the project-based learning activities at a variety of stations facilitated by the Interdisciplinary-Innovation Coordinator Consultant, STEM fellow, and/or teachers (such as a weather station, mechanical station, 3D printing station, etc.).
  • LEGO Robotics:  Students will enjoy designing and programming robotics projects that feature LEGO® MINDSTORMS® during after school enrichment classes.
  • STEM Projects: Students in grades K-2 will collaborate to complete STEM projects each semester that they will present to Sela students, staff, families, and community members.
  • Mobile Computer Lab:  Students in grades K-2 will participate in computer skills courses.  Students will learn how to keyboard, create word processing documents, building spreadsheets, create Glogsters and Wiki pages, conduct online research, and build multimedia projects.

Targeted funding such as that provided by this grant is immensely helpful to us as we continue to build our national network of schools – where exemplary, multifaceted education – in Hebrew and English – is always priority No. 1.

Jon Rosenberg President & CEO

 

ANOTHER NETWORK MILESTONE

We recently learned that the first two schools in our network – Hebrew Language Academy in Brooklyn, and Hatikvah International Academy in East Brunswick, N.J., which opened in 2009 and 2010 respectively – have been approved to open our first middle schools! Each school will welcome its first class of Sixth-graders this fall, with current Fifth-graders at those schools moving up into their next phase of education. It’s hard to put into words how proud that makes me, and everyone here at the Hebrew Charter School Center – not to mention all the hardworking teachers, school administrators, and the volunteer leadership at those schools who helped make this new network milestone a reality.

The fact that the States of New York and New Jersey have granted their approval to our schools is a huge deal for us.  More important, it’s a huge deal for the children and families of our schools, who are now assured their children will benefit from the fully-realized plan to have their children receive exemplary, dual-language education for their first nine, formative years of public education. It also gives a boost of much-deserved confidence to the rest of our schools around the country (Harlem, Washington, DC, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis), the younger “siblings” in our national family.

We have so much for which to be grateful and so many to thank – everyone I just mentioned above – plus the generous supporters out there who believe in our mission and have demonstrated their commitment to this movement.

To you all, from all of us here at HCSC:  Kol Hakavod and Todah Rabah!

Jon Rosenberg President & CEO

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

Fourteen months ago, I joined the Hebrew Charter School Center as its first CEO and president. During that time, I have been asked versions of the following questions dozens if not hundreds of times.

Question #1: “Hebrew charter schools?  How can a public charter school be a religious school?”

Answer: It can’t and it isn’t.

The Hebrew Charter School Center’s network schools are public, nonsectarian, and serve students from a wide array of religious and non-religious backgrounds.

In a way, the confusion is understandable. Hebrew is a language that is closely associated with Judaism and the Jewish people. At the same time, Modern Hebrew (which we teach in our schools) is a secular language spoken daily by millions of people. Our Modern Hebrew dual language public charter schools are not Jewish religious schools. New York City’s Greek dual language public charter school is not a Greek Orthodox religious school, French dual language public schools are not Catholic schools, and the growing number of Mandarin dual language public schools are not Buddhist religious schools.

Question #2: “Hebrew charter schools? So those are just for Jewish kids, right?”

Answer: Wrong – our schools are for everyone, and serve as models of integration and diversity.

In many of our country’s school districts, including its largest (New York City) racial and economic isolation is a fact in the majority of public district schools. And in many district schools that appear to be integrated based on their total school enrollment, they are segregated at a classroom level, with significant racial and economic disparities in student assignment to gifted classes and self-contained special education classes. By contrast, the schools in the Hebrew Charter School Center’s network, including both of our schools in New York City, explicitly make racial and economic integration a goal – and have succeeded in creating integrated school environments. By way of example, Harlem Hebrew’s demographics are: 36% black, 20% Latino, 40% white, 4% multiracial, 53% students eligible for free/reduced price lunch, 21% students with special needs, and 12% English language learners. Our network, in turn, is a member of the National Coalition for Diverse Charter Schools (www.diversecharters.org) – a growing movement that sees charter schools not only as potential hubs of excellence and innovation but as a powerful means of creating integrated schools in places where segregation persists.

Of course, the best way to set the record straight about our work is to see our it in action. To arrange a visit to one of our network schools in Harlem, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Washington DC, Los Angeles, or San Diego, please email us at info@hebrewcharters.org.

Jon Rosenberg President & CEO

WHAT A GREAT YEAR!

When I joined the team here last January as the Hebrew Charter School Center’s first President & CEO, I knew we had an incredibly strong foundation on which to build.  In the few short years since we began building this American network of dual-language Hebrew charter schools, the cumulative progress made is hard to ignore:
  • 1,253 children are now learning in our six schools across the country, in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.
  • Our schools are wonderfully diverse, with students from a wide array of racial, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Hundreds of children are speaking, reading, and writing Modern Hebrew with great proficiency – something that always brings smiles of delight to the faces of native Hebrew speakers who visit our schools.
  • Our students’ academic performance continues to be very strong, as shown in the most recent round of state tests in NY and NJ.
  • 90 new HCSC alumni – our very first graduating classes from Hebrew Language Academy and Hatikvah – are now in middle schools, and we are working to stay closely connected to them as they grow into ambassadors for the HCSC mission.

During the course of 2014, we helped open Lashon Academy in Los Angeles, and began working with Agamim Academy in Minneapolis, which will open in 2015.  We have added three terrific new Board members: Simone Friedman, Caroline Greenwald and Adam Smolyar. We also had quite a year in fundraising:  our March Aladdin and September “Autumnfest” events were great successes, together raising more than $800,000.  (For a fuller description of our work, please check out our new President’s Report) 

All of us here look with genuine pride at the work that is done by our teachers and school leaders every day in Brooklyn, in Harlem, in DC, in San Diego, in East Brunswick, and in Los Angeles.  I am confident that we will make more contributions in the years to come, as we become an increasingly important presence in the worlds of dual-language instruction, diverse schooling, Israel and global studies, and charter schools.

Jon Rosenberg, President & CEO