Nitza Spiro Hebrew Studies

Registered Charity No 1070926

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Save the date – The Annual Spiro Tribute Lecture – Professor Eli Vakil – Wednesday, 8th of February 2023 at 7.30pm

 
The Annual Spiro Tribute Lecture, sponsored by the Pears Foundation,  celebrates the groundbreaking and innovative work of Robin (z”l) and Nitza Spiro in the field of Jewish education in Britain over more than four decades.
This year’s speaker is Professor Eli Vakil, the eminent Israeli clinical neuropsychologist from the

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Total Beginners

An exciting opportunity to  discover a totally new language, or reviving a vague memory from  early childhood,  perhaps resenting  parents’  insistence on attending Sunday morning classes.

After only a few hours, you will be able to have a basic conversation with Hebrew speakers – to yours and everyone else amazement!

Monday classes 10am-12noon

Tuesday classes 8.15pm-10pm

Beginners 2

If you are already a Hebrew speaker able to cope with the basics this course is for you.

Students are now ready to recognise groups of verbs,  to conjugate them and to easily use them in forming sentences .

Thursday classes 6.30pm-8.30pm

Beginners 3

Students are now ready to recognise groups of verbs,  to conjugate them and to easily use them in forming sentences . Also being familiar with correct prepositions ( one of the major pitfalls in learning a new language (as one tends  . naturally to translate from one’s mother tongue).

Tuesday classes 6.30pm-8.15pm

Friday classes 10am-12noon

Intermediate

Students can now listen to Hebrew news on Israeli radio and TV, understand the gist of them, watch Israeli films , trying to be less dependent on subtitles, writing short pieces…

Monday classes 6.30pm-8.30pm

Advanced

Discussing any topic, giving short lectures to members of the class after presenting key vocabulary, reading newspaper articles and books and discussing them, translating from English to Hebrew , learning idioms , proverbs songs  and slang.

Wednesday classes 10am-12noon

Very Advanced

High level in all aspects of the language, oral , written and grammar. The students are able to cope with serious debates , reading challenging articles, listening to interviews and watching films  and analysing them and reading together many Israeli new bestsellers. This class often attracts people who lived and worked in Israel who find the course both attractive and challenging.

Sunday classes 10am-12.30pm

Inspirational Bible class

This interesting group who represent different backgrounds religions and professions of participants has already studied in depth the books of Song of Songs, Ecclesiastics and last year the Book of Job.The sessions run more as seminars where participants bring their own very interesting interpretations.We read the texts in English and in Hebrew so that the knowledge of Hebrew is advantageous but not at all essential. We discuss the texts from literary, philosophical, historical, ethical …. points of view and often compare to texts in other ancient documents of the Near East looking at similarities and difference.This year we will start with  the complexities of Genesis  1-2 , move to the analysis of Jacob and add choice chapter from the prophesies.

Fridays 3pm-5pm

Our Blog

Save the dates

The pandemic and the passing of Robin, the creator of the Spiro Institute, the Spiro Ark and many other unique creations, put a holt on our many  big and frequent offerings of cultural events. Time to revive our cultural blood stream which can be done successfully only with your active

THE MOST IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT 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

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 […]

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