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Ever since I can remember, languages and history were my greatest passions. Graduating from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, I specialized in the languages and history of East and Southeast Asia and Russia and Eastern Europe. For graduate schools I went to the Netherlands and France, earning a doctorate and supplementing my fluency in English and Hebrew with French, German and Dutch. After serving as a diplomat in Europe and Africa I returned to graduate school for an MBA in France and Jewish studies in the USA. In recent years I have taught Modern and Biblical Hebrew, Jewish and Middle Eastern Studies at the middle school, high school and university levels, including Emory University, Agnes Scott College and Georgia State University.
My teaching philosophy is based on the idea of meeting the learners where they are and coaching and challenging them to move higher according to their ability. I believe that while learning does require hard work, it can and should be made fun, and I employ a variety of teaching methods to suit the needs of each student.
My courses include Modern Hebrew - both written and spoken - and Biblical Hebrew, which is primarily textual. I provide native fluency and pronunciation for Modern Hebrew and accurate and deep understanding of Biblical Hebrew.
Having spent many years in France and Belgium, I have acquired a near-native command of the language. Combined with my language teaching experience, this allows me to give you at the same time the linguistic training and insight into the culture and society of the French-speaking countries.
Last but not least, my academic and professional itinerary took me to many countries and regions and required me to be proficient in world history and civilization. With both the academic and experiential background, I can bring to life the subject of world history, which, for some, can seem impersonal and alienating.
I look forward to meeting you and working together to achieve your goals.
French is a rich and beautiful language which is not only a communication tool but also a unique way of thinking. To learn French properly you need, of course, to master the basics like grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, etc., but equally important is to absorb some of the cultural and social context within which this language lives. My background and experience puts me in a privileged position to provide just that. After living in France and Belgium for years, earning my graduate and post-graduate degrees and serving a as a diplomat there, I have been a language teacher and translator from French for over 20 years. My teaching style is interactive and adapted to the goals, age, personality and needs of the students. I choose and/or create my own teaching materials, but if students need to reach a certain point in a given curriculum, I can use their materials as the course's foundation.
French, like other languages, cannot be learned in the abstract. It requires lots of practice and repetition. Therefore I urge you to schedule several sessions per week. If this is impractical, you will be given instruction and have to practice on your own between sessions, otherwise you will forget much of what you had learned the previous time. For underage students I require the presence of a parent or an adult authorized by the parent/s. Lessons can be held in person at an agreed location or via Skype. Crash-courses, special interests, development of particular skills or other customized arrangements can be made upon request.
Hebrew is the language of the Hebrew Bible (aka the Old Testament) and the official language of the State of Israel. King David and Jesus knew Hebrew, and Jews all over the world pray in Hebrew. Israel has one of the most prolific publishing industry, in Hebrew, and Israeli films in Hebrew have repeatedly been nominated for the Academy Award.
You too can learn Hebrew.
Despite its different writing system, which is written right-to-left, Hebrew is easier than many of the foreign languages available for learning. Hebrew is a Semitic language, originating in the Middle East. It shares many common denominators with ancient languages such as Akkadian, Canaanite and Aramaic as well as modern languages such as Arabic, Swahili (East Africa) and Ethiopian languages.
Biblical Hebrew and Modern Hebrew are taught differently.
In Biblical Hebrew you learn to read the Hebrew Bible in the original, but you are not expected to be proficient in listening, speaking or writing. Consequently, you will learn biblical grammar and vocabulary and the techniques of taking any previously unseen biblical text and to decipher it, uncovering not only its precise literal meaning but also insights lost in translation. You will be able to follow its public reading or chanting, and if you wish, you can learn to chant it yourself. Furthermore, Biblical Hebrew gives you access to texts such as ancient coins and inscriptions, the Dead Sea scrolls, and even some terms used in Kabala and cool Hebrew tattoos.
In Modern Hebrew you learn, like in any other Modern language, to use the language in all four language proficiencies: reading, listening, speaking and writing. Consequently, learning it is not as focused on text, grammar and vocabulary as Biblical Hebrew. Rather, the learning process is much more personal, interactive and conversational. From the first lesson you will be speaking Hebrew and understanding. After mastering the Hebrew writing system – which is a matter of weeks – you will quickly move from letters and syllables to words, sentences and paragraphs. Soon you will be able to make conversation and understand steadily more of what you hear in movies or read in books.
Both Modern and Biblical Hebrew require practice, but there are many fun ways to practice. Whichever you choose, join me in this fantastic adventure of learning Hebrew!
The Very Best Biblical Hebrew Teacher — I cannot say enough about my personal Hebrew instructor. Very knowledgeable and patient. Hope to use again. His instruction was adapted to my course and supplemental. He became a great aid. Great voice for working on speaking and pronouncing words, I am still listening to his voice. I would highly recommend. ...
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