Learning Hebrew in the Shadow of October 7th

2 min read
Abigail Zamir, Citizen Café Hebrew teacher
Abigail Zamir, Citizen Café Hebrew teacher

TL;DR:  Teaching Hebrew after the shock of 7.10 has allowed us to mourn together, but also to create a safe space to share our feelings and stay connected. Our students shared some of their thoughts with us, and we’d like to share them with you.

When the war מלחמה (meel-chah-mah) broke out in Israel almost two months ago, all of us – students, teachers, and community – were taken aback with shock and grief. We began facing a new reality in which we’re living day by day: waiting for a piece of good news, asking for the well-being of our loved ones, and uniting in prayer. While all this was happening, we decided to keep teaching ללמד (leh-lah-mehd) Hebrew. We wanted the classes to be a space where we could share our struggles on one hand, and revert our focus and energy to something meaningful and beautiful like the Hebrew language השפה העברית (hah-sah-fah hah-eev-reet) on the other hand.

We didn’t know how our community would react to this decision. We have students from all over the world, some of them living in Israel, and some of our teachers מורים (moh-reem) were called to reserve duty מילואים (mee-loo-eem) so others had to take their places for an unknown period of time. But the reactions we received were so heartwarming, it gave us strength to continue להמשיך (leh-hahm-sheech). Here is what two of our students wrote:

“I just wanted to say that we have the utmost admiration for Israel and all of its people. The biggest thing however is the absolute tenacity, spirit, and resilience of the people here. I love this and it’s difficult to explain to anyone who has never lived here.”

“I wanted to thank you for class today… I know it hasn’t been easy to get up in the morning and teach us after everything that has happened, but I wanted to let you know it’s been the only thing making me smile in the past couple of days.” 

Hebrew will always be a reason for us to connect and understand more about the place we came from. We want our community קהילה (keh-hee-lah) to grow, and allow more and more people to meet through Hebrew. And even if you’re just curious about the language and want to discover it with us, our door is wide open.

Start by booking a free intro session with one of our teachers, which is the best way to get a sense of what we’re all about!

 

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