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Learn Hebrew - From Alef Bet to Intermediate - HaYesod Modern Hebrew
November 01 2014 10:48:06
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HaYesod Modern Hebrew

Modern Hebrew Course

We are currently phasing out this course and recommend instead our new "Hebrew Kindergarten" course. More details should be available in July 2007. For those students already studying in the HaYesod course, the materials for additional lessons are still available.

Learn Beginning Hebrew using a textbook, audio tapes, specially designed exercises and assignments Basic knowledge of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet is required. If you need to learn the Hebrew Alphabet, click here. NOTE: You can also order this course any time of year and work at your own pace.

If you have already read the details of this course and want to order now: Click here to order the starter kit now.

Click here for info about Biblical Hebrew Class

What is the difference between Modern and Biblical Hebrew? Click Here

The rest of this page describes the Modern Hebrew Class

Order Info

This class is primarily for students who are unable to attend a "normal Hebrew class".
If you can find a real "live" class with a teacher, I encourage you to go!
Perhaps you live in "the boonies", and their is no synagogue, church, or
university that teaches Hebrew anywhere near you. Or perhaps you work
a strange work schedule, travel out of town a lot, and cannot faithfully attend a local class.

Hebrew Alphabet - Basic Phonetical (Decoding) Reading Skills Required

This class requires that you know how to phonetically read the printed style of the Hebrew Alphabet. If you want to take the course, but don't know the alphabet, I suggest you buy my CD/ROM called "At Home With Hebrew". It includes a lot more than just the alphabet, but with it, you can learn the basic alphabet in 13 easy lessons, then you would be ready for the HaYesod course. Most people can complete these 13 reading lessons in about 2-4 weeks. Actually, once you take the 13 lessons in "book-style" Hebrew, you can repeat the same lessons in "cursive" Hebrew also. You will need to use cursive Hebrew to write out your assignments. To learn more about the CD/ROM software, click here. I also recommend Danny Ben-Gigi's book, tape, and flashcards called "Living Israeli Hebrew - for the Very Beginner". You can get both the CD/ROM and the Living Israeli Hebrew together for a special price.

The Ha-Yesod book has no transliterations. Since most people taking this course are "very beginners", I will provide transliterations for the first 4 lessons. But after that, you must be able to read and pronounce the Hebrew.

Testimonial of a Recent Student

To anyone seriously interested in learning Hebrew, I strongly advocate taking Neal's course. And I also strongly suggest, if at all possible, Gold membership -- receiving tapes (and extra materials printed up). The tapes are an outstanding aid -- two 2-sided tapes for each four lessons. The extra materials and Lesson plans also greatly enhance and solidify learning.

Out of curiosity, after only 7 lessons, I took a Hebrew proficiency test for a 4-level series of courses in Hebrew, and already I qualified for the 2nd course. This is purely thanks to Neal. I am extremely grateful for the availability of Hebrew Resources and this course and also for the time, care, hard work, and thought Neal puts into preparing the wonderful tapes, exercises and other learning aids and in keeping up with the bulletin boards. Neal has shown himself to be a very kind, responsive and helpful instructor. He is flawlessly responsible. He seems to think of everything, and welcomes, seeks feedback and questions. I most highly recommend this course.

I also give utmost praise to the "At Home With Hebrew" program. It provides an exceedingly strong basis for the study of Hebrew. Like everything Neal offers -- including Hebrew Word Of The Day, which I would terribly hate to miss -- it is surprisingly thorough and enjoyable.

Karen D.
New York, NY

Ordering Info

Testimonial of Another Student

I am so happy to have had the opportunity to take the HaYesod Hebrew Language course. I had been struggling along with other books on my own for about a year when I found Neal and the HaYesod Course on the Internet.

I have learned more in the few months of taking the HaYesod course than I did in the year with other books and tapes.

I like the progression of the lessons in HaYesod especially in the way it deals with verb conjugations. It is not overwhelming.

The text is good, but Neal makes it better with his exercises and tapes. The drills reinforce the learning process. Without them the learning process would lack the needed practice. Neal seems to understand what is needed to reinforce the learning material in each lesson.

I also enjoy the Gold Membership because with each lesson comes not only the drills but tapes reinforcing the vocabulary and story. When I?m in the car, I pop in the tape ,of the lesson that I?m working on so I can also hear the material. I would recommend Neal?s Gold Membership of this HaYesod course for anyone who would like to learn this wonderful language.

For the love of learning,

Miriam W.,
Deltona, Florida

Ordering Info

Testimonial of a Third Student

I just returned from Nashville, TN. and on the plane, I actually sat next to a college student, who is a second semester Hebrew student. Imagine my surprise.

I questioned him about the requirements for his college course and he showed me his text book. They are not required to learn the cursive script, or engage in conversation or read without vowel marks. I don't exactly know what it is he is studying, but he was amazed at the scope and depth of this course. Not to mention that his text book was all in English, with an exception of the lessons, which were in Hebrew. It didn't contain pages of Hebrew text like ours does. I gather that his text was printed in America where ours was printed in Israel.

How could someone study a foreign language and not also learn how to write and speak it?

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I feel this Hebrew class is one of the best Hebrew courses available. Thank you for giving us all a chance to learn Hebrew.

Kristenea L,
Spokane, WA

Ordering Info

Here are details about the HaYesod class:

The Hebrew class will use the book "HA-YESOD" by Israelis Luba Uveeler and Norman Bronznick. "HA-YESOD" means "The Foundation" (not the same as the HaYesod Hebrew Roots course by FFOZ).

This the best Hebrew course that I've found, except that it contains no
exercises. However, I will provide the exercises, worksheets, homework.

The books contains 75 lessons, each 3 or 4 pages long. Each lesson introduces about 20 vocabulary words, contains several grammar points, then has a Hebrew dialog or story, followed by Hebrew questions about the story, then sentences to translate from English-to-Hebrew. Thus at the end of lesson 25, you would know about 500 "root" words. Make it to lesson 50, you know 1000, and 1500 by the end of Lesson 75. (Actually, I've heard it said that you need about 2000 vocabulary words to really "speak" any language.)

The members-only web site benefits include the following:

1) Get your questions answered. A discussion forum will be provided, organized by lesson number. I will regularly answer questions, and your fellow classmates can answer your questions.

2) Exercises and homework to practice, practice, practice! Weekly postings
of exercises, homework, puzzles, etc... All exercises will be in Microsoft
Word .DOC format. You need to install the FREE Microsoft Word
viewer/reader in order to view and print the exercises. You can print
them on your printer, then keep your own three ring binder for your
Hebrew studies.

3) Hear the lesson! Sound files will be uploaded for the vocabulary
and dialog of each lesson. You will need to download the FREE Real Audio
Player to hear these sound files.

4) Tests - Yes, you need a quiz to assure yourself that you
really understand the material. At the end of each 12 lessons, I will give
you a test, which you can take and mail back (or maybe graded on the internet?).
Upon a passing grade, I will award you a signed certificate, stating you have
completed the specified lessons.

5) Online Quiz - I am currently working on adding online quizes that you can do at the end of each Chapter. This is mostly for evaluating your own progress, and for helping me to know what lessons you have finished.

How fast will the online class go? Based on experience with
beginning students in a real class room, I think the first four lessons
should go very slow. Eventually, I would like to pick up the pace to
cover one lesson per week. But at the beginning, students are still
struggling with their aleph-bet, reading skills, and the "system shock" of
whole new language. Thus, we may spend two or three weeks on each of
the first few lessons. However, each week will provide new exercises or
new ways of looking at the same material. I may also throw in some
supplements of other simple Hebrew word or phrases that would be closely
linked to the Ha-Yesod lessons. Eventually we should be able to cover
three to four lessons per month (maybe three new lessons, and one review
lesson). Ha-Yesod contains 75 lessons.

Who uses the Ha-Yesod textbook?
Is is the equivalent of a college class?

I checked with several college level advanced placement services,
and while there are advanced college placements tests (CLEP) for Spanish,
French, and German, there is none for Hebrew. The following information is
provided so you can compare our online course to college classes:

UCLA teaches Hebrew 1B - Lessons-20-40 (so presumably the first
class would be Lessons 1-19)

Univ of Princeton offers HEB101/102 - Elementary Hebrew (two
semesters) and HEB105/107 - Intermediate Hebrew (two semesters). Apparently
the Heb101/102 class covers the first 1/2 of the Ha-Yesod book, and the
Heb105/107 class covers the second half. However these classes do also use
Israeli Newspaper and other resources.

The Jewish Theological Seminary of America foermly used Ha-Yesod Lessons 1-24 for its one semester introductory Hebrew class (HEB 1001x - 6 credits - Foundations of Hebrew).
Apparently they have recently switched to a different textbook

The University of Melbourne also uses the Ha-Yesod book.

Ha-Yesod is primarily a course in modern spoken Hebrew, but as modern English and Shakespearean English and "King James" English all overlap, so does modern and Biblical Hebrew. I also throw in some Biblical Hebrew into the exercises as we go.

Who is Neal Walters? and Why is He teaching this class?

What are my qualifications to teach and facilitate the class?
Basically, I have learned Hebrew on my own as an adult. I was frustrated
with many of the learning methods that were available, and thus began
writing my own computer program to teach Hebrew (in about 1992). Originally
it was just three diskettes, but when I added the sound files, it became the
CD/ROM (At Home With Hebrew) now found on my web site.

I have taught using the Ha-Yesod book at my synagogue in the
Dallas area, and frequently read from the Torah. Also,
many of you are familiar with some of my teaching styles in the "Hebrew Word
of the Day". I too plan to learn a lot from the Ha-Yesod course. I have written
exercises and created audio tapes for Lessons 1-28 of the Ha-Yesod book.

My schooling includes a BBA in Accounting, a MSBA in Management
Information Systems, and a JD (Juris Doctor). That last degree took
about 8-11 hours of class, plus study time, per week for four years!
So surely, you can spend 2 hours a week, studying Hebrew!
I took 1 year of Latin and 3 years of Spanish in high-school, and I
tested out of 14 hours of Spanish in college, and took several Spanish
literature classes. I have also studied some French and Brazilian
Portuguese, and a wee bit of German. I have travelled to Israel,
Brazil, Columbia and lived in Puerto Rico for 9 months.
So I think I can combine some unique fields of study to provide
what will perhaps be the first online Internet Hebrew Class.

Ordering Info

Anticipated Questions:

Q. What if I am a WEBTV or I-PHONE user, and don't have a regular computer?

A. WEBTVs and I-PHONEs are not PCs and will not probably not be able to hear the
sound files nor view the Adobe Acrobat documents. I'm afraid your
only choice is to signup for the Gold Membership to get the tapes
and documents via mail. You will, however, be able to view the online
discussion forum and submit questions and read answers online
(but probably not any Hebrew fonts).

Q. How much time study will this take?

A. Of course, this will vary from person to person. Each Ha-Yesod lesson is only 3 or 4 pages, and introduces about 20 new vocabulary words, and several points of grammar. I think a good guess would be four 30-minute study sessions per week, plus maybe 30 minutes/week of internet interaction with me and the other students. Everybody learns at a different pace, some students take more time, some less.

Remember, you will not have a formal class-room meeting. My Dallas class meets for about 1 1/2 hours per week. So by self-study, you actually save time! The Internet and the Audio tapes take the place of the classroom meeting.

If you get the audio tapes, and listen in the car, I think you will learn faster and develop a better "ear" for Hebrew. I used to spend about 40 minutes, twice a day, driving to work. That adds up to over 7 hours per week of potential learning time!

Q. Can I go at my own pace?

A. You are probably asking: "Can I go at my own pace?". Yes, you can, with the limitation that I may not post the material for future lessons until I have it all ready. So in other words, you can drag behind; but if you work ahead, you will be on your own.
However, if you drag behind, you may have fewer students to interact with; so everyone is encouraged to stay on the same lesson together. One reason for taking classes, rather than self-study, is to have the discipline to stay with the rest of the class.

Q. How can I pay?

A. You begin by ordering a starter pack which includes your textbook, audio tapes, and printed materials for Lessons 1-4. The first order is more because it includes extra materials, including the $39. textbook. Additional tapes and exercises and on-going membership for each 4 lessons will be approximately $17 (plus $7 shipping/handling). You can order online and pay by credit card or Paypal, or you can order by mail, and send a check or money order (but I really prefer online payment!).

Q. How do I get future lessons?

When you sign-up for the course, you are registered as a student of that course. You then can order any of the lessons available for that course from a special online catalog listing.

Q. Am I billed monthly?

A. Originally, I autoshipped lessons to students approximately every month, but now I let students order the lessons when they are ready for them.

Charges are based on Units of four lessons. So when I refer to $10 or $17/month, that is really per each four lessons, which actually averages out to be every 5-7 weeks. We break for some holidays, give ample time for review and "catch-up". Each four lessons has approx. 40-50 pages of exercises and either 2 audio tapes, or online sound files for vocabulary and dialog. You can elect "Autoship" to get your lessons shipped so you can be ensured of staying-up with other students in your class, or you can elect to only request new lessons when you are ready for them.

Q. Is this a fair price?

A. Our local Jewish Community Center charges $10/week, thus $40/month for Hebrew lessons. (Books probably separate.) And they don't have my exercises, online quizes, or audio tapes!

Q. How far do your lessons go?

A. As of Dec 2001, I have lessons prepared and ready to ship for the Lessons up to 28. At this point, I only have 2 students who have ordered Lessons 25-28. Thus, I am realizing that my efforts to develop lessons beyond that point are probably not going to be as rewarding. I will be glad to continue lessons, when I get about 10 students ready to continue from that point. For now, I have diverted my lessons writing to a Biblical Hebrew course (click here for Biblical Class Info).

Q. One last question: What if I want to join the class later? Can I?

A. I think I will offer two classes per year, probably starting in August,
January. Each semester will allow new students to come in - and
work together through the same lessons at more-or-less the same pace.

Ordering Info

To register for this class requires the following:

You purchase the Ha-Yesod learning kit from my web site. This
includes the Ha-Yesod textbook and 2 cassette tapes printed exercises for
the first four lessons. Price $35 +$7 shipping/handling. This also includes
your first month access to our members-only web site for students taking
this class. If you already have a copy of the Ha-Yesod book, you can
subtract $18. Click here to order the starter kit now.

To avoid shipping costs, I have a lower price membership where you can download the printed lessons in electronic form, and a subset of the sound files from the website. The cost is $10 per 4 lessons, or $24 for 12 lessons, payable by credit card. If you wish to pay by check, you will need to prepay $24 per 12 lessons (i.e. monthly payments not accepted by check). The website will be secured, and paid members will be emailed the appropriate access codes. You can use the attached monthly credit card authorization form for your convenience, or you can purchase each month from the web site.

Gold Membership - includes 2 monthly 90-minute audio tape(s) of the lessons being covered and a printed copy of all exercises. I have learned a large part of my Hebrew by listening to audio tapes in the car. I currently drive 40/minutes to work each day, and another 40 minutes home. That's over 7 hours per week of potential learning time! The Real Audio files will of the regular Hebrew Club will cover at least the vocabulary and the dialog - which may amount to less than 10 minutes of recorded material. The audio cassettes generally be be 45 minutes per lesson.

Gold Membership is also useful to non-computer people. If you have a non-computer friend that wants to study along with us, please tell them to send the attached application form. He can use the text book, the printed exercises, and the cassette tapes - all without the Internet and without a computer.

The Gold Membership is available for only $17/month + $7 shipping/handling charged monthly to your credit-card. It also includes membership to the online Hebrew club, so this price includes both. You can use the attached monthly credit card authorization form for your
convenience, or you can purchase each month from the web site, or pay monthly by check.

Registration Forms:

Deadline: To start the Spring 2004 class, order and/or forms should be submitted by Jan 28, 2001 in order to ship the materials to you on time. The first week of class will be Feb 4 or 11th.

Register for the Ha-Yesod class (Hebrew Club or Gold Membership) by either

ORDER ONLINE, then when you get your starter kit, you will get instructions on how to sign-up online for the ongoing membership. $35 for Basic Starter Kit, other ordering deals and packages are available when you click here.

Do you still have questions? Rather than emailing me directly, please post them to and I will answer them there. There is a special topic for this called "Online Internet Hebrew Class". Someone else may have already asked the same question, and this allows me to answer it once - and everyone can benefit from the answers.
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