Project Imutz Group Photo

Student and community participants in Project Imutz. Photo by Taylor Widawski

This year the UW Modern Hebrew Program launched Project Imutz (The Adoption Project), an exciting new initiative which paired second-year Hebrew students with Israelis in the local community. Designed and coordinated by Hebrew instructor Tovi Romano, this project sought to enhance language learning through real-life communication with native Hebrew speakers. The result was a close encounter with authentic Israeli culture.

First, students conducted phone calls with their Israeli hosts in order to get acquainted, learn about their culture, and practice their conversation skills. Next, students were hosted by their Israeli me’ametzim (adopters), where they joined in to help cook Israeli food and gained more practical experience speaking Hebrew. The project concluded with a party on campus for all of the participating students and their host families. Additionally, every student wrote a blog post in Hebrew reflecting on their experience.

Professor Romano’s students greatly enjoyed their experience in Project Imutz and felt that the interactions with Israelis in the Seattle community significantly  improved their Hebrew language skills. The Stroum Jewish Studies Program provided special support for this initiative, which is yet another example of our faculty finding creative ways to provide students with unique, hands-on learning experiences.

Merchant Photo

Second-year Hebrew student Cathy Merchant bakes challah and chats in Hebrew with Hila. Photo by Liat Shklarski.

Click here to read Cathy Merchant’s post on “The Israeli Adoption,” the first of several student blogs written in Hebrew about Project Imutz. And check back with JewDub.org for more student blogs in the weeks to come!

Click here to find out more about the wonderful resources offered by the Modern Hebrew and Israel Studies Program at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization.

Note: The opinions expressed by faculty and students in our publications reflect the views of the individual writer only and not those of the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies.