Sela PCS Ranked as a Top Performing School by DC Charter School Board

For Immediate Release     

November 14, 2017.

Sela PCS Ranked as a Top Performing School by DC Charter School Board

Sela Earns Tier 1 Status a Second Year

Sela Public Charter School in Washington DC has been ranked a Tier 1 top performing school by the DC Public Charter School Board (DC PCSB) for the second consecutive year.

Sela PCS is part of the Hebrew Public network of schools that manages three New York City Hebrew-English schools and supports six affiliate schools across the country.

Each year, the DC PCSB issues a School Quality Report, which evaluates the city’s 118 charter schools to determine if they are meeting citywide standards. Schools are assessed based on a list of factors including: English and math achievement, year-to-year growth, and school culture, as measured by attendance and re-enrollment rates. The schools are then graded and categorized into three tiers, with Tier 1 meeting highest performance standards.

“We are extremely proud of Sela for once again earning Tier 1 status among DC public charter schools,” Jon Rosenberg, president and CEO of Hebrew Public said. “Receiving this recognition for the second year in a row is a strong validation of their work and commitment to their mission.”

Founded in 2013, Sela PCS is the first Hebrew Language immersion public charter school in the District of Columbia.  The school currently serves over 200 students from pre-K to fourth grade and is founded on the commitment that all students have access to a strong education that assures high levels of academic excellence in a diverse, nurturing environment.

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.

Harlem Hebrew Awarded $100,000 Technology Grant

For Immediate Release

September 17, 2017.

Harlem Hebrew Awarded $100,000 Technology Grant

Hebrew Public school awarded technology grant from Borough President Brewer.

New York – The office of Manhattan Borough President, Gale Brewer has awarded Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School $100,000 grant in capital funding for classroom technology upgrades.

Harlem Hebrew Language Academy is part of the Hebrew Public school network that manages three New York City Hebrew-English schools and supports six affiliate schools across the country.

This fiscal year 2018 grant will assist in purchasing new technology for all classrooms and will help expand the school’s science and technology curriculum.

Jon Rosenberg, president and CEO of Hebrew Public, said this grant from Borough President Brewer will help equip the students with the technological skills needed for success in this 21st century workforce.

“We are grateful to Borough President Brewer for awarding this grant to Harlem Hebrew,” Rosenberg said. “We look forward to strengthening our partnership with the borough president’s office to make Harlem a stronger community.”

Founded in 2013, Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School is located in Manhattan’s CSD3 and serves more than 400 students from kindergarten to fifth grade. Harlem Hebrew is a member of the Diverse Coalition of Charter Schools and offers its students a rigorous liberal arts curriculum with a focus on global citizenship.

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.


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


Teaching English in Israel

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Jared Waters and students in Israel – Courtesy of Yediot Israel.

Harlem Hebrew teacher Jared Waters teaching English in Israel.

This summer Harlem Hebrew teacher first grade teacher, Jared Waters, taught English immersion classes in Israeli town, Kiryat Malachi as a Talma teaching fellow. Recently, Jared’s work with the program was featured in major news outlet, Yediot Israel.

Talma is a summer English immersion program for Israeli elementary school children. The program brings together volunteer US based teachers and Israeli teachers who co-teach each class. Talma allows American teachers to experience Israel while providing English classes for children from low-income neighborhoods.

Jared found out about the program from Harlem Hebrew head of school, Lindsay Malanga, who encouraged him to join. After speaking with other teachers from the school who had also been a part of the program, he decided to join.

“I wanted to see what it would be like to teach in Israel, because at my school I work with an Israeli teacher,” Jared told Yediot news.

For Jared and other teachers from the Hebrew Public network who participate in the program, they have the unique advantage of being immersed in the culture that their school teaches.

However, Jared is no stranger to living in a foreign country or being immersed in different cultures. A self-proclaimed “war baby”, he was born in Missouri but grew up on a US military base in the Netherlands where his dad worked as a NATO colonel. His family has also lived in other countries such as, South Korea, Japan and Morocco.

“Every place we went to, I learned the culture and tried to assimilate, and that is what I am now doing, being in Israel,” Jared told Yediot news.

After just a year at Harlem Hebrew and with no prior experience with Hebrew, he is now learning and speaking Hebrew and shares how just a month after he started, his first graders – also new to the language – are able to converse with him in Hebrew. Jared also speaks Dutch and German.

Over the summer Jared taught 5th graders in Israel. While he finds it more challenging to teach 5th graders who are more mature and strong willed, he says the classroom experience in Israel isn’t very different from the team teaching model used at Harlem Hebrew to immerse students in the language. In fact, he shares that he is adjusting very well in Israel, using the same techniques there as he uses in his Harlem Hebrew classroom.

Prior to joining Harlem Hebrew, Jared spent four years as a kindergarten teacher in Tampa, Florida. But being the free spirit that he is, after years of feeling stuck in a routine, he got in his car and drove to New York.

“I moved here on complete faith and all the pieces just fell into place,” Jared shared in an earlier interview with Hebrew Public. He said on arriving in Harlem a year ago, within a day he found an apartment and within a week, he landed his position at Harlem Hebrew.

“I’m just trying to see the world while I can,” Jared shared. “But more importantly I enjoy seeing the future generation grow, with a little help from me on the way.”

View Yediot Israel article in Hebrew here.

View Q&A with Jared here.


By Keciah Bailey

Half a Million Dollar Grant Awarded to Brooklyn’s Hebrew Language Academy Charter School

Hebrew Public school awarded grant from Borough President Adams
Grant provides $500,000 for science & technology

New York – The office of Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams has awarded a $500,000 capital grant to Hebrew Language Academy (HLA) for “STEAM” (science, technology, engineering, art & design, and mathematics) equipment.

HLA is a flagship school of Hebrew Public, the charter management organization that manages three Hebrew-English public charter schools in New York and supports six affiliate schools across the country.

This fiscal year 2018 funding will provide technology tools designed to augment the school’s STEAM curriculum. It includes computers and carts for each of HLA’s 27 homerooms, a suite of virtual reality and robotics tools and STEAM carts and other equipment for all grades.

Jon Rosenberg, president and CEO of Hebrew Public, said this grant from Borough President Adams helps to support the network’s commitment to building and sustaining exceptional public charter schools that provide high quality instruction.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant from the borough president’s office. It allows us to equip our HLA students with skills to pursue advanced studies and to become scientifically literate in this increasingly technological age,” Rosenberg said. “We are deeply grateful for BP Adams’ support and we are excited to partner with him to strengthen our work.”

Founded in 2009, HLA is located in Mill Basin in Brooklyn’s District 22 and currently serves over 600 students from grades K-8.

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.




HLA2 Names New Director of Operations


Lina Shuster named director of operations at HLA2

Former Human Resources Director, Lina Shuster, has been named director of operations at Hebrew Language Academy 2 – the newest Hebrew Public school opening in District 21.

“We believe Lina brings the necessary expertise to ensure smooth and efficient operations management at HLA2,” Elyse Piker director of school operations at Hebrew Public said. “Her prior experience working in a school and her intimate knowledge of its day to day functioning will be invaluable to our new school.”

Shuster has over ten years’ experience working in facilities management and human resources. Prior to joining Hebrew Public, she worked at Staten Island Hebrew Academy as director of development and human resources. She was responsible for all non-instructional operations of the school such as managing busing, daily scheduling, staff hiring, marketing and recruitment. 

“I was super excited to learn I was joining the team of HLA2 as the director of operations, because I have been interested in joining the Hebrew Public network for a few years,” Shuster said. “I strongly believe in the mission of HLA2 and think that giving children superior education – together with a knowledge of foreign language – is the key to preparing them to become productive global citizens. I look forward to using my skills and experience in my new role to support this mission.”

Shuster earned a BS in Psychology and a MA in industrial and organizational development from Brooklyn College.

From her expansive experience, she also brings to HLA2 her expertise in event planning and fundraising events as well as managing social media, communications and promoting community engagement.

Founding Head of School Named for HLA2

New York –  Hebrew Language Academy 2, which will open in CSD 21 this September and is part of the Hebrew Public network of schools,  appoints new principal.

Ashley Furan, Head of School at HLA2.

Ashley Furan, Head of School at HLA2.

After a thorough and extensive search for a principal, ten year teaching veteran, Ashley Furan, has been named founding head of school for Hebrew Language Academy-2 (HLA2).

“We believe that Ashley’s skill set and experience demonstrates the instructional leadership, and work ethic to be a successful leader at our new school,” Adam Miller, HLA2 board chair said. “Her proven record of driving exceptional student achievement across grade levels, both as teacher and instructional leader, will ensure we carry on the mission of providing the highest level of academics at HLA2.”

Among Furan’s strengths, board members were especially drawn to her ability to cultivate warm and authentic relationships with teachers and staff as well as create a positive school culture that ensures excellence across all dimensions.

“It is an honor to be selected to serve as the Founding Head of School at HLA2,” Furan said. “I know, first-hand, the power of a community school which emphasizes academic and personal growth, as well as service learning and global citizenship. Together, I look forward to building a diverse learning community where we prove the possible for all children.”

Her school leadership experience includes working as assistant principal at Success Academy in Brooklyn. In that role, she served as an instructional coach and supervised teachers and administrative services. She also supported and maintained school discipline and culture, led professional development workshops and reviewed and used student achievement data to drive instruction.

Prior to joining Hebrew Public, she worked at Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School as an Inclusive Learning Team Teacher. There she focused her efforts on specialized curriculum design, creating school culture and building relationships with the parent community. She also provided support for teachers with lesson planning and delivery and ensured appropriate accommodations for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s).

Furan has honed her expertise working at other notable charter networks such as KIPP Journey Academy in Ohio where she taught eighth grade and Explore in Brooklyn where she was the lead third grade teacher.

Furan earned a MS in Education from Hunter College and a BA in Individualized Study from NYU. An alumnus for Teach for America, she was a finalist for a leadership award from the organization in 2013 for “transforming students’ lives through exceptional leadership”.

To the inaugural students and families and HLA2 community at large, Furan says, “I cannot wait to meet you and welcome you home to HLA2! Education opens the door to live the lives we have imagined and I am excited to begin this journey.”

‘Diverse Charter School’ is Not an Oxymoron

‘Diverse Charter School’ Is Not An Oxymoron

by Sara Berman

Ten years ago, when we applied for permission to establish the city’s first Hebrew-language public charter school in Brooklyn’s District 22, representatives from the Department of Education questioned us about who exactly would patronize our proposed school. The DOE worried that only Jewish families would send their children to a school in which Modern Hebrew (instead of Spanish or Mandarin or French) was the second language of instruction. We were convinced otherwise.

“We want a diverse school,” I replied, imagining parents from all over this Brooklyn district vying for a spot at our rigorous yet nurturing school. “We want all families in District 22 to know that this is a school for their children,” District 22 is one of the most diverse districts in the city: Residents speak Spanish, Creole, Russian or Urdu, among other languages; some people enjoy the comforts of middle class or face profound poverty; some families have lived in America for generations, and others have just arrived on our shores. Our student body reflects that diversity: Forty-six percent of students are children of color; 61% come from economically disadvantaged households and about one-in-five have special needs.

But we were after something different. Decades of research (including data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the Program for International Student Assessment, and studies by Richard Kahlenberg and Gregory Palardy, among others) show that one of the best ways to improve academic and life outcomes for children in poverty is for them to attend economically diverse schools. They also show that middle-class students in economically diverse schools do just as well as they do in schools that are more homogenous. Another area of research shows the lifelong benefits of learning alongside children from different racial, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. And yet another shows the benefits of cognition from learning another language (these are well summarized by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages).

What we did with our first school, Brooklyn’s Hebrew Language Academy, what we continue to do with our school in Harlem, which opened in 2013, and what we will do with our soon-to-be-launched school in Coney Island is create “diverse-by-design” environments that draw on all the aforementioned types of diversity.

We link student diversity to the study of Modern Hebrew, to the diversity of Israel and to concepts of local, national and global citizenship.

More than 60 years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision outlawed legal segregation, too many of our public schools remain stubbornly segregated. Efforts by New York City to change attendance zones to reduce segregation have hit local political roadblocks. Too many neighborhoods remain segregated as a legacy of years of redlining.

But diverse-by-design schools like ours are on the rise. Educators and policymakers around the country realize that bringing together children from different backgrounds helps them learn from one another, narrows the achievement gap, strengthens urban neighborhoods and builds community among people who would otherwise remain apart. As schools of choice, charter schools are uniquely suited to create diverse environments. The federal government has taken note, and the U.S. Department of Education’s charter school grant program now rewards diversity in its program application process. There is even a new National Coalition of Diverse Charter Schools.

Back in Brooklyn, families ended up coming to our first school for a wide variety of reasons. Some were drawn to the focus on Modern Hebrew and the study of Israel. Others found our diversity attractive. Some simply wanted an option different from their local zoned school. All of them stayed because they were welcomed into a community and treated with respect and care, and because their children were provided a terrific, well-rounded education.

Creating and maintaining such diversity is not easy. It requires ongoing outreach to communities, constant attention to the quality of teaching and learning, and consistent operational excellence. But in a time of civic strife and increasing polarization, the hard work of creating diverse and excellent schools is more important than ever.

Sara Berman is the chairperson of the board of Hebrew Public, and a founding board member of Harlem Hebrew Language Academy and of Brooklyn’s Hebrew Language Academy.


Hebrew Public Approved for Second School in Brooklyn

Hebrew Language Academy 2 to Open in CSD 21 in Fall of 2017
Regents Approved only Three of 25 Applicants


November 16, 2016 – The New York State Board of Regents has authorized the opening of Hebrew Language Academy 2, a school that will be part of the Hebrew Public schools network.

Hebrew Public, a New York-based nonprofit that manages three public charter schools in the city, will work with the new school’s board to open the school in the Fall of 2017.

The new school will be located in Community School District (CSD) 21 in South Brooklyn. Open to all children eligible for kindergarten and first grade in 2017, the new school will be patterned after Hebrew Language Academy in CSD 22, which opened in 2009 and has now expanded to include a middle school. Hebrew Public’s New York City network also includes Harlem Hebrew Language Academy, which opened in 2013 and currently serves children in grades K-4.

Each Hebrew Public 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 six affiliated schools around the country, said the Regent’s approval is a testament to the organization’s and its schools’ hard work, dedication, and commitment to the children of New York City.

Rosenberg says he is particularly grateful for the Regents’ stamp of approval since only three applications were selected from 25 submitted. “It is a very rigorous process, so the fact that we were one of the three approved to move forward with a school is a strong validation of our work.”

The new public school will serve students in grades K-1 in its first year and add an additional grade level each year. Children living in CSD 21, which in­cludes parts of Midwood, Gravesend, Sheeps­head Bay, Brighton Beach, and Coney Island, will have preference for admission to the school.


HEBREW PUBLIC is building a national network of academically rigorous dual-language charter schools that teach children of all backgrounds to become fluent and literate in Modern Hebrew and prepare them to be productive global citizens. The network includes schools in Brooklyn, Harlem, New Jersey, Washington, DC, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis.