YULA’s Ivrit program strengthens, solidifies, and complements YULA’s religious and Zionist goals. Classes are conducted in Modern Hebrew.
In grades 9, 10, and 11 YULA uses the textbook, Ivrit Min Hahatchala. Through readings, grammar work and language exercises, students’ skills are developed in four major areas: Reading comprehension, writing, listening and speaking. The book’s readings help students learn language and Jewish culture simultaneously. For example, they discuss Yad Vashem; Dr. Yanush Korcak, a respected educator in pre-WWII Poland; Anne Frank; and Bezalel, the Jerusalem school named after the man who designed the mishkan (tabernacle). Discussions regarding the readings are entirely in Hebrew.
Stories and literary pieces from around the world further enhance students’ skills. Various tefilot (prayers), zemirot (Shabbat songs) and Israeli songs complement and round out the program.
Each grade level requires the student to do a project in Hebrew:
9th grade: A family history
10th grade: A city in the State of Israel and its development
11th grade: A leader in Jewish history
12th grade: A Hebrew script and a short film about a specific event in the student's life
Level 1 Hebrew speakers write short sentences, and their project covers five pages including pictures. Intermediate- and advanced-level students write more sophisticated sentences and cover more material, with projects between 10 and 15 pages.
The 12th grade boys’ class uses the book, Dibburim Dibburim, which focuses on conversational skills. The book is used in conjunction with actual Israeli items such as bus and train schedules, restaurant menus, and brochures to help students prepare for their upcoming year in Israel.