Make Hebrew School subjects easier by making them more fun!
The prayers spoken and sung, the history and meaning behind the symbols, holidays, and life events of Jewish culture, the Hebrew alphabet and the words of Torah—all are crucial for a true understanding of Judaism. But as leaders in most Hebrew schools can attest, they can be hard to teach…and hard for students to learn.
Not anymore. Dr. Linda Silbert, who has worked with students from kindergarten to college during her more than 40-year career, has long known the secret to learning. MAKE—IT—FUN!
“Research has shown over and over that no matter what the subject, if we’re having fun, we’re engaged, and we learn more quickly,” says Dr. Silbert. “For years, my husband, Dr. Al Silbert, and I have developed card decks that are played like Memory, Go Fish, Crazy 8s, Bingo, and more, to help kids learn the building blocks of reading, math, and general knowledge. Learning the basics involves practice, but I think we’d all admit that practice can sometimes be boring. There’s simply no better way to make practicing fun than by playing games. Never mind the social benefits.”
Dr. Silbert, a former Hebrew school principal, was a recipient of the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York’s prestigious Gabriel Schonfeld Award for Educator Excellence. Recently, Marilyn Arsham joined the team. A graduate of Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University, she has over 20 years experience as a Hebrew School teacher and tutor, preparing numerous children for their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. She brings her passion and expertise to the project. You’ll get to meet her in the free informational videos that introduce the various card games.
Each deck focuses on a topic included in the Religious School curriculum. Subjects include the Hebrew alphabet and vowels, selected prayers, blessings, general vocabulary, Jewish life cycle events, holidays, and more. There are even games of hilarious Yiddish words and phrases that are fun for young and old alike.
Every deck can be used to play all these games: Go Fish, Memory, Old Maid, War, Showdown, Reading Race, In-the-Doghouse, Bingo, and Lotto. Some play Crazy 8s, too. Decks are available with and without transliteration to move students from introduction to fluency. Take two minutes to learn any game from easy directions (download them for free, along with blank playing “boards” for In-the-Doghouse, Bingo and Lotto games).
Temples in suburban Massachusetts and New York, including Central Synagogue in Manhattan, have already enthusiastically incorporated the card games into their curricula. Join in the excitement! Whether you represent a Hebrew day school or after-school program, or you are a parent who wants your child to become more familiar with Jewish traditions, these games are a great way to turn learning a difficult language into fun and games. (Great for parents and other adults, too.)
Learn more by visiting the website at HebrewSchoolFun.com. Visit StrongLearningGames.com for card games focused on other subject areas.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-845-628-7910.