Harlem Hebrew Language Charter School
Children learn both English and Hebrew
Too soon to tell how the school will develop
Harlem Hebrew Language Academy opened in August 2013 and with a dual language program that teaches students to speak both Hebrew and English. Modeled after Brooklyns Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in Midwood, Harlem Hebrew opened with a kindergarten and first grade and will expand to serve grades K-5.
Like its counterpart in Brooklyn, Harlem Hebrew is a publicly financed secular organization and is not affiliated with Judaism. According to the school website, students learn about the culture and history of Israel and its immigrant communities. Additionally, the school features a specialized social studies curriculum developed in partnership with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture focusing on Harlem's history as a center of migration and immigration.
The school day is long, from 8 am to 4 pm. The school year is 185 days, longer than the typical public school. According to the school website, Harlem Hebrew students receive two hours of ELA, one hour of math, and one hour of Hebrew instruction daily in addition to 180 minutes weekly of social studies and 135 minutes weekly of science instruction. All classes are taught in English and Hebrew and have two teachers--one of whom speaks Hebrew.
Founding principal Robin Natman, a former public school teacher and administrator who is working towards a second administrative degree from Bank Street College of Education, was replaced in 2016 by Ben Costa, a longtime educator who was most recently the head of school at Fusion Academy, a private, alternative high school in New Jersey. He and his family now live in Harlem.
The school building used to be the school of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church and, more recently, the Harlem Childrens Zone's after school program.
Admissions: Lottery with preference for students in District 3 and to siblings of other students. Apply on the schools website. As of August, there were still seats for the 2013-2014 school year. (Pauline Zaldonis, web research, August 2013; updated 2016)
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Manhattan NY 10026