Let's Get Campers Jumping and Running to Learn Hebrew!

March 22, 2017

Source: Hebrew Through Movement


Hebrew Through Movement has been energizing Hebrew learning across North American for the last 5 years. With its start in Cleveland, OH over a dozen years ago, HTM brings laughter and smiles to the learning of Hebrew. And, because of its kinesthetic nature, Hebrew is sticking deep in the kishkes of its learners.

While also part of learning in early childhood and day school settings, HTM has gained huge traction in part-time Jewish educational programs. Based on the number of educational programs who enrolled teachers in the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland’s online seminar (over 900), it would be easy to suggest that 9,000 – 15,000 youngsters have been jumping, running and pointing their way to Hebrew learning.

Why play the number game? Because it’s informing to consider how many children attending our Jewish summer camps might have a Hebrew background that is different from past generations of campers. It’s an opportune time to consider introduce Hebrew Through Movement at Jewish summer camps, creating a stronger synergy between Hebrew learning in congregational and camp settings!

There is no doubt that HTM in Jewish summer camp looks different from a congregational or day school setting. Whereas the ultimate goal of Hebrew Through Movement in most congregations is to open up the Hebrew of rituals, prayers and blessings, summer camp allows for an expanded set of vocabulary like Hebrew names of camp buildings and locations, clothing, utensils used when eating, food, and names of sports.

Hebrew Through Movement takes minimal time - lessons are only 10-15 minutes each, taught with a specific lesson structure that creates success. In part-time Jewish educational settings, HTM is scheduled each time that children are in session, once or twice a week. Camp offers the advantage of daily (or almost daily) Hebrew learning. A two week session, with 10 HTM lessons, would produce as much if not more learning than a part-time program once a week over a semester. Frequent, short learning opportunities, with little or no absences, creates a powerful language learning model.

The Jewish Education Center of Cleveland is creating a camp-focused version of Hebrew Through Movement which will be ready by May 1; it will be available for free download.

Read the whole article at the Hebrew Through Movement website.

Updated: Apr. 26, 2017