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October 13, 2015 | 30th Tishrei 5776
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Mitkadem Hebrew Curriculum

Mitkadem is an exciting five-year Hebrew curriculum that will generate enthusiasm and excitement from your teachers, students and parents. Your students will learn to read Hebrew and enjoy a sense of accomplishment as they progress through a series of well-organized, stimulating, and self-paced ramot (levels).

Here you'll find useful information about the Mitkadem curriculum, including details about the approach of the program and assessments by JESNA; an assortment of teacher tools to assist educators with implementing and teaching the program; and the Mitkadem Frequently Asked Questions.

mitkadem workbookMitkadem is unique because it was created to address, in a realistic way, the challenges of teaching Hebrew within the congregational school setting. These challenges include:

  • Frequent absenteeism
  • Late enrollment and new students enrolling in older grades
  • Varying levels of motivation and ability within the classroom
  • Diverse experience and commitment of Jewish practice at home
  • Limited hours at a difficult time of day for learning
  • Different abilities and capabilities of our Hebrew teachers

Mitkadem offers a new approach to teaching and learning Hebrew and prayer by building on the positive commitment parents have made by enrolling their children in our schools. Mitkadem's self-paced and child-centered approach allows each student to achieve according to his/her own ability, so learning challenged students and frequent absentees feel successful as well as those students who are very motivated and catch on quickly. The Mitkadem approach helps every teacher feel capable and confident of administering this program to all different kinds of student learners, identifying those students who need additional help early on. The content of the program should seem familiar to other Hebrew programs; the approach is new.

Read JESNA’s evaluations of the Mitkadem program and its implementation on our evaluation page.

Mitkadem Ramot (Levels)
The Mitkadem program is constructed of 23 ramot, or levels. Students may work independently, with another student at a similar level, or with another student in a "tutorial" relationship. On average, students can complete between four and six ramot per year depending on hours of Hebrew school and students' pace. Learn more about Mitkadem ramot.

What is the role of the teacher in using Mitkadem?
In a Mitkadem classroom, the teacher becomes more of a resource and facilitator for students' self-directed Hebrew learning. The teacher or other adult keeps the records of student progress. The teacher also uses the assessments in order to determine what kind of help each student needs from him/her in order to progress. The teacher manages a classroom of students that are all working at a variety of different paces and levels, encouraging each one and consciously building classroom community. Some teachers have found it helpful to begin or end each class as a group with reading of a familiar text, a review of language elements, or a discussion of ideas within the prayer.

Mitkadem: Hebrew for Youth, may be ordered online from URJ Books and Music or by calling the URJ Books and Music at 212.650.4120.

Mitkadem allows students to make choices within their Hebrew studies, enhancing their motivation. Over time, the results of Mitkadem have shown diminished discipline issues because each child is engaged. Bright, motivated students move quickly and expertly through Hebrew studies, while more challenged students are identified early on and can receive the help they need. Mitkadem creates an excitement in the classroom that I have never seen before.

-Cheri Ellowitz Silver, M.A.J.E., author of Mitkadem. Cheri currently serves as Educator at Congregation Ner Tamid of the South Bay in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Teacher Tools

Mitkadem Teacher Training
A lesson for educators to use to train their teachers about Mitkadem.

Mitkadem Implementation Guide
This guide will assist you in implementation of the Mitkadem program by providing you with wisdom from those who have been using the program, offering alternatives for implementation, and providing necessary information for both the administrator and teachers of the program.

Mitkadem Ramot Recordings
You can now listen online to the prayers sung and read corresponding to the Mitkadem curriculum.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Mitkadem

My Goals for You
This form helps teachers communicate with each learner and set expectations for a period of learning.

I've Got a Question
This worksheet enables students to focus and articulate their questions without interrupting the teacher’s engagement with other children.

Classroom Update Form
Thank you to Tami Schoen for sharing this form

Free Fall Review Activities
These worksheets will help your students to review what they learned last year when they return to school this fall.

Ramah Postcards
Send these postcards home when a student completes a ramah. Thanks to Dennis Niekro from Temple Israel in Columbus, Ohio for creating and sharing them!

Mitkadem Tutorial-- How to Implement Mitkadem Ramot 3 and Up in Your Classroom
Use this PowerPoint presentation to introduce the basics of this program to teachers, parents or education committee members.

Tips for Teachers Using Mitkadem
Eight tips for using Mitkadem successfully in your classroom written by Regional Educator Kitty Wolf.
Tips for Facilitating Student-Directed Learning
Tips for integrating group learning and independent study into your classroom.

Introducing Mitkadem to Families: A Family Education Program Outline
Developed by Regional Educator Kitty Wolf, this sample Family Education lesson can be used to introduce the Mitkadem program to parents and children.

Mitkadem Daily Journal
This one-page daily journal is a way for students and teachers to report on daily progress. It was created by Michelle Shapiro Abraham for her school who finds that it really helps both students and teachers in the self-directed Mitkadem classroom.

Connect with a Specialist
Member congregations are encouraged to contact a specialist from the Union's Congregational Consulting Group for additional resources and support:
 joannJoan Carr
Education Specialist
Time Zone: EST
Phone: 212.452.6731
 marleneMarlene Myerson
Education Specialist

Time Zone: EST
Phone: 212.452.6725


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