Meet Emily Fernandez — Our Chief Schools Officer!

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Emily Fernandez will be joining our team in July as Hebrew Public’s new Chief Schools Officer!

Emily is an inspirational and strategic leader entering her fifteenth year as an educator. She is currently finishing the school year as Founder and Principal at Brownsville Ascend Middle School (part of the Brooklyn-based Ascend school network, on whose Board I have the privilege of serving).

Emily is an expert in instructional coaching, school leadership, student and staff culture, and evaluation. Students at her school have shown significant academic growth. She has a deep knowledge of how to ensure that growth while also creating warm and supportive school environments for children, staff, and parents. In addition to her work at Ascend, Emily has held roles at KIPP NYC and Teach For America in Miami-Dade, Florida.

Emily is driven by a deep belief in the ability of young people to excel when presented with rigorous challenges and unwavering support.

Upon accepting the position, Emily said, “There are many things that drew me to Hebrew Public. I’ve seen the network’s passion and motivation for children of all backgrounds to flourish while receiving an exceptional education in a diverse community. Teaching the Modern Hebrew language is a great way to expose young people to the world, a new language, and achieve high levels of academic achievement through instruction in two languages. In touring the schools, I’ve seen wonderful, positive, and kind children that have the character not just to excel for themselves, but to make a difference locally and globally. It is a unique movement, in unique schools, and I am so excited to be joining Hebrew Public at this pivotal time!”

Please join us in welcoming Emily to the Hebrew Public team!

Jon Rosenberg
President and CEO

P.S. Emily lives in Brooklyn and spends most of her free time reading to, playing with, or chasing after her two young children. She also loves exploring new restaurants and parks with friends.

Meet Hadar Dohn — Our Head of School!

We are thrilled to announce that after a thorough search, Hadar Dohn has been named the new Head of School for Hebrew Language Academy.

Hadar Dohn has been a leading educator for over three decades. As a lifelong learner, Hadar strives for continuous professional development for herself and all those around her. She is committed to and experienced in, meeting the needs of diverse learners. Hadar knows how to mentor, coach, and support teachers, and always has students’ best interests at heart. She has been described by former colleagues as collaborative, an effective communicator, empowering, and radiating camaraderie.

Most recently, Hadar was the Principal of Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago, which is a K-8 school. Before Schectner, Hadar served as the Head of School at the Hebrew Day School of Ann Arbor for four years. Prior to that, she was at Temple Israel in Hollywood Day School in California for nineteen years. During that time, Hadar served in a variety of roles, including a Hebrew Teacher and Head of the Hebrew Department, and finally, as Principal. Hadar was also an elementary school art teacher earlier in her career.

Hadar has a Bachelor degree in Art from California State University, and a Bachelor of Literature and a Masters in Education from the American Jewish University. In addition, she is a Fellow and Graduate of the Day School Leadership Training Institute and Harvard University Principals Center.

During her spare time, Hadar enjoys reading and taking walks with her three dogs. She also loves cooking, but not baking, since it requires measuring. Hadar and her husband Mark, also an educator, are the proud parents of three children.

Hadar will start full-time this summer and will be making periodic visits to the school in the interim, so be sure to say hello and introduce yourself!

We are delighted to welcome Hadar Dohn to our community!

Philadelphia Hebrew Public Charter School Awarded Startup Grant

For immediate release
May 1, 2019

Philadelphia – Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP) awarded Philadelphia Hebrew Public Charter School a $600,000 startup grant for the 2019-20 school year, with the potential to grow to $1.5 million over four years.

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. This grant supports the startup of Hebrew Public’s first school in Philadelphia that will be a citywide, open-enrollment public charter school.

PSP’s multi-year investment will enable Philadelphia Hebrew Public to launch with only grades K-1 in 2019-20 and grow to serve K-8 by 2026-27. After nearly three years of planning, the new school will open serving 156 students in September. Grounded in extensive outreach and demographic research, the school will be located at the junction of diverse neighborhoods in East Falls and Allegheny West and draw a diverse student body from across the city. Even in its first year, Philadelphia Hebrew Public has seen significant interest and is already engaging registered families in regular social events to build this unique school community.

“We are deeply grateful for PSP’s help in making it possible to bring Hebrew Public’s diverse by design school model to Philadelphia,” said Jonathan Rosenberg, President, and CEO of Hebrew Public. “Thanks to this investment, we’ll be able to launch thoughtfully and deliberately growing from a K-1 to a K-8 by 2026,” Rosenberg reflected.

Investing in Today’s Technology for Tomorrow’s Future

In the 2018-2019 school year, our New York City campuses have received technology equipment worth over $600,000. The competitive grants received from local government officials will help prepare students for the future in today’s digital economy.

The support from Brooklyn Borough President — Eric Adams, Manhattan Borough President — Gale Brewer, and Council Member — Alan Maisel allows staff from Hebrew Language Academy Charter School (HLA), Hebrew Language Academy and Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School to upgrade technology and infrastructure, make learning more fun, and ensure that students reach their academic potential.

“Our students are looking forward to improving their computer skills, such as computer coding and 3D printing,” says Sasha Kogan, Community Relations and Alumni Coordinator at HLA. “It’s really great to see the enthusiasm on their faces as they learn new digital skills. The kids have been using the laptops to access eLearning platforms, such as CompassThinkCerca, and keyboarding Without Tears — each program provides a personalized learning path for our students.”

Research has found that when schools provide students with laptops for use in the classroom and at home, learning improved in a number of subjects, including science, math, and English. “Students received more feedback on their writing, edited and revised their papers more often, drew on a wider range of resources to write, and published or shared their work with others more often,” the study concludes.

“These funds have allowed us to provide technology that we could not afford before. We are truly grateful to our local officials for the generous support of Hebrew Public students in Brooklyn and in Harlem,” says Valerie Khaytina, Chief External Officer of Hebrew Public, the grants will help support the network’s commitment of providing students with a high-quality education and equip them with 21st-century skills.”

 

We are grateful for the support we’ve received from Eric Adams, Gale Brewer, and Alan Maisel for investing in our schools and believing in our mission.

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 the Community  School District (CSD) 31, 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. 

The Benefits of SEL and Diverse-by-Design Charter Schools

One summer morning in August, a group of diverse, eager and excited educators gathered together in one room for their first network-wide professional development meeting. The meeting took place in New York City’s Hunter College. As more staff members arrived, you could hear many conversations – curiosity about what to expect, introductions with new staff members, excitement about a new school year, and the chance for a fresh start; began to fill the room.  

Joining us, we had our first cohort of Arbel Fellowship teachers from Israel – (Arbel Fellowship is a program that provides an opportunity for Israeli teachers to teach Hebrew in our schools for two years), we also had our director of Social and Emotional Learning (a new role created to focus on the launch of our social and emotional learning initiatives), and Reverend Linda Tarry-Chard – a Board Member of Harlem Hebrew Language Academy and an Ordained Minister, just to name a few.  The group learned about Hebrew in our curriculum, initiatives towards Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and what our goals were as a network. SEL is a hot topic in schools and is central to Hebrew Public’s mission to prepare students from all backgrounds to become global citizens.

 

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During our meeting, Reverend Linda asked the group to remember a time when we first crossed paths with someone from a different socioeconomic class, at that moment the tables were turned, it was our time to self-reflect. As teachers, these are the types of questions we generally ask our students, not necessarily taking the time to ask ourselves these same questions. From this exercise, we pressed the rewind button to a time when we were our students’ age, a time where life seemed simpler, or at least we thought it was. Some stories shared were experiences from traveling to a different country and seeing other children who were less fortunate than they were – asking for food or money, or interacting with someone from a different background, who spoke a different language. This exercise made us think about diversity and when we first acknowledged it in our lives. And for most of us, the answer is, it began as children. It was an excellent exercise as it made educators and teachers to analyze the questions, we are asking our students. It starts in our schools and with our teachers.

When educators practice SEL skills in the classroom, studies have shown it to have a positive impact on academics. Successful, evidence-based SEL starts with adults, who practice and purposefully cultivate their own competencies first, then expand SEL practices to reach students. When adults try these practices for themselves, it builds self-efficacy and their own SEL competencies. Citizenship means belonging and welcoming rituals help all members of the community feel a sense of belonging.

Since our meeting, welcoming rituals have been implemented in our schools. Staff members greet children and parents at the door to create a sense of belonging. By doing so, families feel valued as a member of the community. We strongly believe that when you combine a diverse-by-design community and SEL skills in a school, extraordinary things can happen. Despite living in a time of inequality and racial economic disparities, sitting in Hunter College that morning in a room with diverse educators and leaders, there was a feeling of hope – a feeling that our students will continue to reach academic excellence and become successful global citizens.

Thank you to all our wonderful teachers, staff and leadership teams that joined, participated and showed their support at Hebrew Public’s first PD meeting. Here’s to a new school year, a willingness to understand and accept one another’s differences and lead by example for our students.

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”  – James A. Baldwin.

 

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 By Elisabeth Castera

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

Hebrew Public Announces New Advisory Committee for Israel Studies

For Immediate Release

May 10, 2018

Hebrew Public Announces New Advisory Committee for Israel Studies
Council to provide guidance on teaching students about Israel

New York – Hebrew Public, the network of 10 racially and economically diverse public charter schools, will launch a new advisory council for its Israel Studies program.  

Hebrew Public’s newly expanded Israel Studies program is part of its broader global citizenship program, which also includes the study of Modern Hebrew. Students study Israel in a comparative context with the US and other countries, which helps them gain an understanding of their own country’s history, institutions and environment.

The new council, comprised of seven members from various expert backgrounds, will help guide the organization as it expands to serve an increasing number of middle school students. It will offer strategic guidance on Israel Studies and Israel-related experiences to both the network schools in New York City and Hebrew Public’s affiliate schools across the country.

Some features of the Israel Studies program that the council will support include: the history and culture of Israel; the diversity among its peoples; Israel’s geography and resources; and the array of complex issues that the Israeli society faces. The council will also help advise on the Capstone Israel Trip curriculum.

Jon Rosenberg, president and CEO of Hebrew Public, said the council will help strengthen the program so that students explore Israel through an intercultural lens by reflecting on their own perspectives as Americans.

“The group that we have assembled is truly exemplary in their individual and combined expertise. They are knowledgeable in training teachers to address complex subjects and in deepening students’ historical understanding and critical thinking,” Rosenberg said. “We look forward to leveraging their knowledge and experience to deliver world class Israel educational experiences for our growing community of young scholars.”


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. The network’s schools provide a robust academic program, that immerse students in the Modern Hebrew language, teaches about the history and culture of Israel, its diverse religious, ethnic, and linguistic communities and emphasizes students’ commitments to each other, to their communities, and to the world.

 

Hebrew Public Welcomes New Chief Talent Officer

KimWe are excited to announce that Kim Kassnove has joined our team as Chief Talent Officer, leading our new Talent department.

Kim began her career in education as a member of the New York City Teaching Fellows. After spending time in the classroom as a middle school language arts and theater teacher, she worked for non-profit Roads to Success. While there, she supported program implementation and design and led the training and support of individuals facilitating the curriculum in classrooms in New York City, West Virginia, and New York. Roads to Success evolved to become an after school program provider, and Kim then became Program Director. She later developed the organization’s first Workforce Development Initiative wherein the Roads to Success youth development workers were trained in 21st century skill development.

Prior to joining Hebrew Public, Kim worked for New Classrooms as the Director of Growth and Expansion. In this role, she supported schools and districts to transform their classrooms into personalized learning environments.  Kim also worked for Newark Public Schools as the Executive Director of Staffing and Recruitment and led that team from 2013-2016.

“I am thrilled to be leading the talent department and to ensure that Hebrew Public’s mission is supported by a robust, inclusive and inspiring talent practice, Kim said. “I look forward to supporting the network to find, grow and retain teachers and leaders with diverse backgrounds who agree that school should be immersive, joyful and transformative.”

Kim has a master’s degree in education from Pace University and a bachelor’s degree in theater from Tufts University.  She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids and their cat.