Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Israel Institute of Biblical Studies Review

Shalom! There is something special about reading the Torah in its original language and even more so when you can interpret the Bible in its original text. I remember the first time I read from a 300 year old Torah Scroll without the vowels. It made me cry being able to read the Torah.

Over the years I have been off and on with Biblical Hebrew. I was able to get my daughter started with preparing for her Bat Mitzvah and handed her off to someone who could continue with her preparation. Now my son’s Bar Mitzvah is coming up in 1 ½! Let’s just say I’m real rusty, because you know the saying, “If you don’t use it you lose it”. Not that I ever considered myself advanced in Hebrew in any way. The more I learn Hebrew the more I realize I don't know-like the Hebrew grammar structure. I also struggle with pronouncing the sounds that the Hebrew words make.

I was excited to receive 9 months of Biblical Hebrew-Level A  from the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies. I also received a physical copy of the book Biblical Hebrew A along with a downloadable PDF.

This course is an introduction to Biblical Hebrew. You are going to learn the Aleph Bet which is the Hebrew Alphabet, Hebrew syntax, vocabulary words, basic skills for translating, and even reading.

You will need access to an internet. You will also need a camera and microphone for this course. You will also need to download some software to access your classes. All the information will be sent to you. Accessing the class was easy once I was sent the information. You can do a technical check before you begin your class. Thankfully because, I’m not a technical person and it was easy getting everything set up.  

This is an online course that is a live webinar with other students around the world. There are 30 lessons in the Biblical Hebrew-Level A. You can look up the syllabus summary here for this course. The lesson for this course is an hour. 

Every student has what is called a, “Student Locker”. I would recommend you go into the Technical Support and watch the Video Guide to explain how to use you Student Locker. This area will have useful information concerning you classes, links for extra study, and class recordings. There is also a calendar for vacations. It's so nice having days off that aren't typical in the US like Shavout, and Sukkot! I don't have to worry about missing class or making up a day. I’m still working on understanding everything in the Student area. 

You get email and text alerts prior to your weekly classes. Very helpful for this homeschool mamma who is extremely busy. Those alerts allow me time to make sure my kids have everything they need for the next hour while I’m in class. Not to mention I need lots of reminders these days for my schedule.

My Final Thoughts:

As to date I have only done 2 classes. Here are my first impressions so far. I love that this is a live class from a Hebrew speaking teacher. My instructor's  English is easy to understand. She speaks slowly and clearly. If you have ever been to Israel let me tell you that Hebrew is spoken extremely fast. I was a bit worried about that!

The classes are interactive and we can raise our hands by clicking a button and ask questions if needed during class. The classes are kept smaller. I'm impressed with our instructor. She has answered all of our questions. She has even sent us emails on information outside of the class format with topics that were mentioned like the ancient oil lamps. She wants us to understand what she is talking about while she is explaining things from our questions.

We can also interactive with a Drawing toolbar and do the exercises that are provided in our book online on the virtual whiteboard!

For the first two classes we have been going over the Hebrew Alphabet. We learned a bit of history about the Aleph Bet and how the sounds differ anciently to modern Hebrew. I found that intriguing that some of the silent sounds where not always silent.

Next week we get into the vowels. So I better look over those vowels because, I need a refresher with those vowels. 

As you can see the students were asked to write out the letters on the virtual whiteboard. The teacher puts her highlighter on each letter and gives feedback. 

This is my first experience with a classroom setting like this and so far I'm liking it. This is the basic layout of the classes below.

Since I'm not far into the classes this may or may not be available! Someone will have to verify this with me.

It would be nice to have an app included in this course that breaks down each unit with the sounding out of all the Hebrew Alphabet and the vocabulary broken down for each lesson. That way when you do your homework you can be certain you are pronouncing it correctly.

An assessment test to know which level to begin in. My son knows a bit of Hebrew and I would like to know which level would be best for him. Which he may need to understand the grammar rules and need to start in the beginning course. He reads pretty fluent and is retaining the vocabulary that he has been taught so far to memory.

Like I said those items may or may not be available.

I'm was delighted to learn about the The Israel Institute of Biblical Studies. I look forward to learning more Hebrew. They have other courses available. Even Modern Hebrew in which my son would like to do as he wants to live in Israel one day. Being in a small town in Kansas our options are non existent!

Being able to read Biblical Hebrew was exciting for me the first time I did it.  I'm no where close to where I want to be and by far but, I did it.

If you are interesting in learning how to read and interpret G-d's word in Hebrew then this looks like a wonderful resource.

You can find out how it works from this link

Giveaway: Everyone will receive a follow up email after they enter for $100 off a class as an incentive to get them to enter the contest!
I received a free copy of this product from FrontGate Blogger Network in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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