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

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.


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.

Inside the Classroom: Q&A with Harlem Hebrew Teacher, Jared Waters

Jared profileFirst grade teacher Jared Waters has just completed his first year at Harlem Hebrew and is spending the summer in Israel teaching English. During his first year, he also facilitated Hebrew Public’s young adult volunteer program, YALLA, where middle school and high school students volunteer monthly in his first grade class. Jared grew up in the Netherlands on a US military base and has lived in countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Morocco. He has over six years’ experience as an elementary school teacher and graduated from East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary school education. Check out our Q&A with Jared below!

Q: What made you decide to become a teacher?

A: Sometimes I feel like it was divine intervention for me to start teaching. All my summer jobs revolved around tutoring and working in after school programs. For me becoming a teacher was similar to Luke Skywalker becoming a Jedi (Star Wars). Luke always admired the Jedi’s and their abilities from within the force but when he met the right mentor, Oby Won, his destiny was established. Being a teacher was always in me but it took the people – professors, mentors, family – along the way that helped me see it.

Q: Describe your first teaching experience and how it shapes your approach today?

A: My first teaching experience was in Seffner, Florida at title one school (large low income population) called W.E. Phillips Academy Learning Center. Just think about whatever could go wrong in your first year – everything, went wrong!

The school lost funding and was closing down. We did not have enough text-books, no copy machine, and supplies. We were teaching in small trailers but the trailers had great air condition for the Florida heat. The first week of school, my mentor/teacher quit, and everyone with a great amount of experience left so I was all alone. That year of teaching shaped me to be the teacher I am today, because what’s the worst that could happen to me? We had the lowest performing students in the district and most came from immigrant families so the language barrier at times was really difficult. I experienced being at the bottom of the barrel. So everything that happens to me, I have learned to accept it and move forward.

I realized back then that despite the circumstances as a teacher, the students should not feel the effects of the school. I started reading Harry Wong’s book, “The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher” and the book started to come to life in my classroom. I also adopted the philosophy of professor and author, Linda Albert, by making my classroom a learning environment, despite the school literally closing down daily. Those experiences shaped me to the teacher, I am today as it taught me to cherish all the good things and celebrate the little things a student accomplishes. If man has 100,000 thousand pennies it still is a 1,000 dollars –  it may take us a longer time to count to a thousand dollars by pennies but the value is still the same. Similar to being in the classroom – in some students you can see growth immediately (counting by $100 bills), and for some others it may take while (counting by pennies) but in the end we all have the same value as a person.

Q: What is the hardest part of your job?

A: The hardest part of my job right now, is making sure I catch the correct train. There have been many countless times, where I was headed uptown towards the Bronx instead of downtown toward Harlem.  However, I am getting better.

Teaching at Harlem Hebrew has been more joy than hardship because of the team atmosphere with both administration, faculty, and my first grade team. This school is the 1996 NBA champions the Chicago Bulls, and I am a young Steve Kerr with the high top fade that’s ready to come off the bench and score.

Q: How do you get to know your students and build relationships with them?_DSC4982

A: I think the best way to get to know your student is by asking questions. Find out what their likes and dislikes are and find out what TV shows and songs they like. I think the more you have in common with someone, the more you can relate to them and use a common language to communicate – not just academics – but in life. Another way is by creating a learning yet fun environment in the classroom. I make sure every year that everyone’s voice is heard and their opinion matters.  I call it “camouflage learning” when sometimes students don’t realize they are learning because learning is happening all around them.

Also, understanding the Gardener’s Multiple Intelligences. Which is comprehending that everyone learns differently and we have to find ways to connect with their learning styles.

Q: Tell us about a memorable time (good or bad) when a student or family influenced your perspective or approach?

A: The most memorable time was when I had a student who is now deceased. She was in stage four of cancer, and she was a huge “Frozen” fan. She loved Frozen dolls, make up, and dresses.

When the cancer started to get worse, she went from having perfect attendance to barley showing up to school and we would video chat with her. Her birthday was during the Christmas break, and she passed away in April. However, she wanted to have a birthday party and she wanted her whole class to attend, which was really hard because Christmas is a really big holiday in the south and all the students were leaving for the break.

I gave my word that I would attend and when I got to the party – kid you not – my whole class was there and we had the best Frozen-themed party! That’s when I knew that teaching doesn’t just happen in school from 7am to 4pm. School affects the way we will live our lives for both student and teacher. To see other families give up their own personal family time to spend it with their child classmate, was better than any lesson, spelling test, or trips to the treasure box that I could offer.

That experienced taught me that school isn’t just for learning but we are also making a life time worth of memories.

Q: Fill in the blank:  I can’t start my day without___________________.

A: A prayer to the man upstairs and I listen to MC Hammer’s “2 Legit to Quit”!


By Keciah Bailey