Background

The PHD was developed by Sara Rosen, a veteran Hebrew teacher of over 30 years. Sara has developed a simple, yet extremely effective system with which to teach students of all ages to both read and write in Hebrew. The system is continuously refined and edited as she takes into consideration the feedback from students as well as the numerous teachers and schools which have successfully implemented the PHD Hebrew Program.

Where  is it used?

The PHD is currently in use numerous schools and adult programs throughout the country and has taught thousands to read and write in Hebrew. The program is beloved by both students and teachers for its simplicity as well as its engaging games and activities.

The Program

For English speakers to learn to read Hebrew, they must readapt their reading approach. First of all, English is written from left to write, while Hebrew is written from right to left. In English, both letters and vowels are horizontally aligned, whereas in Hebrew the vowels are situated beneath, beside, or above the letters. Hebrew readers therefore have to systematically re-train both the eye and the brain to seek out, identify, and process letters and vowels in locations other than where they would usually look.  The PHD reading program addresses these basic language differences by gradually introducing Hebrew letters and vowel symbols, thereby training the eye and the brain to process the Hebrew letters more accurately and consistently as visual information.

The program is divided into three books in which the letters and vowels are introduced sequentially and in increasing degrees of complexity according to their sound and shape. The first two books introduce the Hebrew letters, how they sound with (and without) one basic sound: ah, and how letters are written. As students read more accurately and their skills are reinforced and become more fluid, the remainder of the vowels are then introduced in book three. This approach enables students to read phonetically almost any text in either classical or modern Hebrew.

The PHD chapters are cumulative, with each new chapter utilizing the material learned in the previous one while adding new components. This method strengthens each student’s grasp of the material while fostering continued growth of his or her language skills.  The PHD chapters introduce letters and vowels accompanied by activities, such as letter-searches, word-searches, and word-matches, designed to reinforce the material and enhance the student’s learning experience. Once students have successfully completed the three books of the PHD program they should be able to easily read both classical and modern text in Hebrew.