Nitza Spiro Hebrew Studies

Registered Charity No 1070926

A VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – THE MOST IMPORTANT IN THE LAST 50 YEARS !!!

A VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – THE MOST IMPORTANT IN THE LAST 50 YEARS !!!

Please read it from beginning to end !!!

FROM 1ST SEPTEMBER, THE SPIRO ARK WILL NO LONGER HAVE A STATUS OF A CHARITY.

NO DONATIONS WILL BE CONTRIBUTED TO IT ANY LONGER.

HOWEVER, THE SPIRO ARK WILL LEGALLY RETAIN ITS BRAND NAME  SPIRO ARK, ITS WEBSITE WWW.SPIROARK.ORG AND ITS EMAIL: education@spiroark.org

Nitza Spiro will continue the mission of the Spiro Ark to the best of her ability, go on teaching Hebrew and Bible classes
and coach individuals: converts and students of GCSE and A LEVELS exam candidates who wish to improve their chances of obtaining better grades. Also, people who prefer private tuition to classwork.

Nitza will also be happy to collaborate with individuals and organisation in organising unique cultural events, utilising her vast experience of over 50 years and strong contacts in this country and abroad.

ONLY  TOP OF THE ICEBERG OF  ACHIEVEMENTS  BY  THE SPIROS’

Every achievement of individuals, who become groundbreakers, is commendable, but now,  one cannot close a successful organisation of universal reputation without understanding the passion of one individual, Robin Spiro, who brought to fruition an idea that was brewing in his mind while taking a post-graduate degree in Modern Jewish Studies at Oxford University. 

While being a family man (father of 8), Robin created the Spiro Institute, surrounded by sceptics who often pulled down his ideas and predicted failure. He fought triumphantly many corners of small believers,  and miraculously, obtained the full support of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He created the A/O LEVEL exam in Modern Jewish History, accepted by The Oxford and Cambridge examination Boards. Scores of students (Jews and non- Jews ) in 26 top  High Schools ( Eton, Harrow, City of London, UCS, Camden High School, Hampstead High School for Girls……) became familiar with the fascinating Jewish experience.

He organised the acceptance of The Open University and the BBC by creating The Jewish Enigma textbook and the accompanying films and broadcasts which were aired weekly for years on BBC Radio and TV.

Robin worked on creating a  Website of Jewish and Israeli History and Culture. It was called Gilui (discovery). Sadly it was not completed, but it followed a unique concept.

The Spiro Ark was instrumental in cherishing Yiddish as a language and culture, adding to the effort of protecting it from being extinct. In addition to lessons, concerts and films the Spiros created a Yiddish Theatre which included professional and amateur actors.

With the enthusiastic help of many lovers of everything Yiddish, a wonderful Yiddish Library was created in a venue, let free of charge,  a spacious hall in Gray’s Inn  Road in which programs and even Passover Sedarim were organised,

We created a Jewish Theatre (in English) presenting plays of Jewish interest (Simon at Midnight by Bernard Kops… was performed at the Young Vic to much critical acclaim for a run of whole three weeks).

The Spiro Institute created the very first Jewish Film Festival at the NFT and the first-ever Israeli Film Festival in this country at the Everyman Cinema in Hampstead.

Tours of Jewish interest both in this country and abroad were organised with historians and experts of different relevant topics. It happened, far before it became a popular pursuit by many organisations.

The Spiros organised  69 such memorable tours to add to their  credit and they covered all corners of the world

Simultaneously, Robin also managed  to rescue  the pedestrian street of St. Christopher’s Place from the plan to demolish it and turned it into  yet another modern West End street and thus he succeeded  in preserving,

its charming Victorian architecture and atmosphere for eternity.

HEARTFELT  GRATITUDE

Nitza and Robin wish to thank the very many individuals and organisations, both  Jewish and not, who enthusiastically supported their work and helped to achieve the most ambitious ideas, transferring them from dreams to reality.

Greatest thanks go to our donors who enabled us never to use the term “impossible”, to academics, writers, poets, filmmakers, musicians, theatrical personalities

To most incredible teachers possessing knowledge and teaching skills as well as enthusiasm and pride to be contributors to the Spiro mission statement.

To the very many volunteers who tirelessly helped whenever and how often they were asked to assist.

To our small but legendary members of staff who turned from working “for “ to individuals who became identified with the organisation and were, all of them, feeling, that The Spiro Ark was their own. The Spiro Ark owes them, those who were behind the scene but so instrumental in the Spiro success.

And last but not least a huge gratitude to our students and attendees.

More than they learnt from us, they taught us a lot, not least,  human decency.

Very special gratitude must be given to the children and grandchildren of the Spiros who always encouraged them with pride. Hopefully, THEY inherited the quality of perseverance and determination with optimism and humour.

 

I am very excited to have this extraordinary opportunity to continue sharing with you my years of experience and passion for Hebrew and Jewish studies.

Do register for classes and events.

Nitza Spiro


 

Appreciations

 

“I have no words to express my gratitude to you ( Nitza) and Spiro Ark. What you do is keeping Jewish spirit up under very difficult and mostly unfavourable European context. Thank you

From Sergey Kanovich

 

Dear Nitza,
Thank you so much for your teaching this term. I know how much the class enjoy your lessons and they have learnt so much. 

From Rabbi Alexandra Wright

 

 

Thank you for the wonderful work you do in educating us in language, history, culture and so much more.
With love,
From Sandra

 

It has been a privilege and a joy for many years for me to read and enjoy Tanach with my fellow classmates and Nitza and Robin Spiro every Friday afternoon. It is a class in which the inspiring beauty of the Hebrew (especially the poetry of the Bible) and what it has meant for all people for thousands of years, remains paramount. This is a group of mixed Hebrew ability and varying religious beliefs but where the meaning of the text in relation to the shoreshim (ancient Hebrew roots of the words) are of vital importance with regard to understanding, but also where the unparalleled magnificence of the rhythm and elegance of the succinct poetry of the Bible often overwhelms us all. Anyone who has studied with Nitza Spiro, knows that she is a born teacher of rare ability and an exemplar of the maxim: ‘The function of a teacher is to connect the pupil with the love of the subject.’ Exploring the unfathomable beauty of the Tanach with her is an uplifting experience for those of us who want to feel and hear the essence and the music of the most popular book in history in the words and cadence in which it was written.

From Brian Kaplan

 

Dear Nitza,

You cannot imagine how much you mean to me. Ironically, I would never have considered making Aliya without your transformational impact on my life over the past many years. It is not just learning Hebrew that makes such a big difference but the voyage of discovery that you have taken me on. The word inspirational is often used to describe you and I cannot think of a better one, except that I want to add a thousand exclamation marks. 

But this is definitely not the end. I cannot imagine life without you and the only thing that can separate us is physical distance. Rather selfishly I am hoping that the Zoom classes will continue so I can join you wherever I am. 

From Anne Evans

 

Dear Nitza,

Indeed we did not spend years together at the Ulpan but during the short periods of togetherness a special embroidery of love friendship and mutual respect was woven between us. I will never forget every minute we spent together.

Some people might define you as a Hebrew Teacher. ‘but if I had to introduce you I would refer to you as the greatest.

I am in touch with friends who were with us at the Ulpan, nearly every week.

Yes, we have been through wars and extremely hard times but meaningful contacts like we have established then cannot be forgotten.

I love respect and appreciate you my dear Nitza.

Please, let us keep in touch.

From Samira Fadel

 

Upcoming Events

Our Blog

Autumn Term 2020

We have the dates for the new Hebrew classes starting in October 2020. All classes will be via zoom. 
Book your course now!
 

Students’ feedback from Hebrew Shabbat Class

I just love my Saturday mornings at the LJS – class full of wonderful information and laughter.   I have learnt so much from Nitza , about Hebrew of course, but also about language origins, history, humanity and life.   NItza is an inspiring teacher with a wealth of knowledge […]

Example of Homework – Advanced

We think it is important to share homework of our students because it illustrate the wonderful progress the have made of the years. 
This is a lovely written text by one of our advance students. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Testimonials

From Lipika Pelham
Nitza contacted me in late spring last year, soon after the launch of my book, Jerusalem on the Amstel, in Jewish Book Week. She said she liked my enthusiasm during the hour-long event, where I talked about how in Amsterdam out of a group of Iberian New Christians, a whole new type of Jewish community came into existence. Well, over the phone, I was moved by the passion and conviction in Nitza’s voice to promote Jewish thought and a Jewish sense of identity, in an age when pride in one’s ancestral culture is often swept away by the force of assimilation. When we finally met, we found another unequivocal link – that is our immigrant identity. Some decades apart, we both found ourselves as outsiders in Britain and we had to make sense of our heritage and yet belong to the mainstream culture. Just like the New Christians-turned-Jews in seventeenth century Amsterdam. It’s our quest for identity that binds us together, I believe this is the beginning of a long friendship. 
FRom Rabbi Sagal
We  enjoy the great relationship we have with you and are so pleased that Spiro are using our shul for its classes and events. 
From Yoji
From Malka – Audio Testimonial
Please click here for the audio version of this feedback.   What is the highlight of my week?  It’s the 2 hours of learning Ivrit with Nitza at Spiro Ark.  Do not be surprised at this for I shall explain.  As an adult non-examination class, we are not bound by the strictures of a prescribed curriculum and Nitza takes full advantage of this.  As a highly experienced and knowledgeable educator, Nitza is aware of the various topics which students commonly find difficult.  No matter how many times we make mistakes, Nitza’s patience is endless. In a 2 hour lesson we might begin by talking about what we did last week, The range of vocabulary relates to us as adults in our real lives and therefore is significant.  Nitza makes it even more real by using those spoken sessions to highlight grammar and spelling.  Nitza then encourages us to ask questions of each other on the new vocabulary.  It’s a great interactive way to learn.  Nitza has very useful spelling hints using visual cues – I will always know which ‘ch’ letter is in the verb to eat!  In any lesson, we could be learning about the impact of biblical Hebrew and even Aramaic on modern Ivrit.  Language evolves and Nitza is also careful to teach us modern new Ivrit idioms and sayings.  As Nitza is a native Ivrit speaker, we don’t just learn the words, we practise saying them as Israelis ie with the correct accent and emphasis.     Although language learning is primarily for spoken communication, there is also emphasis on ‘book work’ and homework.  In addition, time permitting (!) at home I follow Nitza’s suggestion to use the mobile phone to read aloud a passage which we had read in class in order to gain fluency.  Now this might sound like it’s all jolly hard work.  NO.  There’s a great deal of humour, laughter and fun in our fantastic class not only from Nitza’s wonderful teaching but also I appreciate my classmates as we all learn from each other.    Nitza is very careful to ensure that each of us is fully engaged in the lesson.  Finally, the age old question: why learn a foreign language?  Scientific research indicates that, for adults, foreign language learning opens up new neural connections, resulting in improved cognitive benefits and enhancement of brain power.    Whilst the lessons are serious, wonderful and joyful, there’s also the hidden healthy brain benefit!  Nitza, I look forward to and love coming to your class.  Thank you, Malka  
From Melanie
I’ve grown frustrated over the last few years that my hebrew speaking and writing abilities are very poor.  I finally decided to do something about it in October 2018 when I enrolled for my first term at the Spiro Ark ulpan.  The course, taught by the incredibly talented and multifaceted Nitza, was a revelation.  From going to the first lesson as a very unsure and non-confident person I am now in my third term and I can see that my abilities have grown leaps and bounds.  Nitza makes the lessons fun and informative and has such original ways to make you remember the material.  It’s also become a family activity and a way my kids can see that just as they have to study for their exams their mother has to study too!  (It’s great for learning with my son doing GCSE hebrew).  I can’t recommend Spiro Ark enough.  You are sure to gain by immersing yourself in Nitza’s lessons.  I certainly have.  I have so much gratitude to Nitza for giving my brain a workout and making hebrew really come alive. Melanie
From Melanie Harounoff
I’ve grown frustrated over the last few years that my hebrew speaking and writing abilities are very poor.  I finally decided to do something about it in October 2018 when I enrolled for my first term at the Spiro Ark ulpan.  The course, taught by the incredibly talented and multifaceted Nitza, was a revelation.  From going to the first lesson as a very unsure and non-confident person I am now in my third term and I can see that my abilities have grown leaps and bounds.  Nitza makes the lessons fun and informative and has such original ways to make you remember the material.  It’s also become a family activity and a way my kids can see that just as they have to study for their exams their mother has to study too!  (It’s great for learning with my son doing GCSE hebrew).  I can’t recommend Spiro Ark enough.  You are sure to gain by immersing yourself in Nitza’s lessons.  I certainly have.  I have so much gratitude to Nitza for giving my brain a workout and making hebrew really come alive. Melanie