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.

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.

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.

Jon.

**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