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Women Speaking Hebrew - Medabrot Ivrit

Breaking down the language barrier via practical Hebrew courses for East Jerusalemite Palestinian women

קבוצת רכזות של פרויקט מדברות עברית חוגגות בטקס סיום

In 2013 a group of women from East Jerusalem neighborhood Issawiya approached a group of young West Jerusalemites in search of Hebrew studies that would suit their pressing needs. These women faced a language barrier in their attempts to navigate Israeli bureaucracy, access health care, and integrate into the job market, higher education, and access trade and leisure activities in Jerusalem. They also expressed how their lack of Hebrew caused them feelings of low self-esteem and dependency on others.

In response, we began holding informal weekly meetings to teach and learn Hebrew. As the number of participants increased, we started recruiting more volunteer teachers and, in collaboration with the Issawiya Community Center, established the volunteer-based “Medabrot Ivrit – Women Speaking Hebrew” program. For a decade, Lissan has been teaching Hebrew to East Jerusalemite women to allow them access to essential services, options, and opportunities. 

Medabrot Ivrit - Women Speaking Hebrew aims to remove the language barrier 

תלמידה חוגגת הצלחה מול הכתה

by providing practical, relevant, and culturally fit Hebrew language courses to East Jerusalemite Palestinian women. The Hebrew skills gained from Medabrot Ivrit courses empower these women by increasing their confidence and independence in the public and private spheres, providing them with an increased sense of control over their lives. In addition, skills gained from our courses reinforce their status and impact in professional settings, within their communities, and in their families.

כתת לימוד של מדברות עברית

Courses meet weekly at the Hebrew University Mount Scopus Campus, the Willy Brandt Center in Abu Tor, Mati East Jerusalem in Sheikh Jarrah, and on Zoom. We average approximately 20-25 classes of 15-25 students, providing courses to between 400-500 students a year. Courses are team taught by a pair of volunteer teachers from our multicultural community of native Hebrew and native Arabic speakers. They are supervised and guided by field and level coordinators, who manage the project’s logistics, mediating between teachers and students, handling

any issues that arise, and observing them and providing feedback. Teachers and coordinators undergo intensive training before and during the program year to be able to effectively teach Hebrew, and ensure that their classes are culturally fit for their students. The shared community of teachers and coordinators creates an opportunity for dialogue between Jews and Palestinians while working together to advance linguistic justice.

Lissan’s unique study materials, developed by our pedagogical staff with input from students and alumni, focus on a variety of topics tailored to the practical needs of women from East Jerusalem. 

2022-2023 in Numbers

אולם מלא עם אנשים בטקס סיום של פרויקט מדברות עברית



מורה מסבירה לשתי תלמידות



שתי מורות עומדות ומלמדות בכתה של פרויקט מדברות עברית



Medabrot Ivrit - Women Speaking Hebrew partners include:

לוגו של דיקנט הסטודנטים של אוניברסיטה העברית
לוגו של המרכז הבין-תרבותי לירושלים
לוגו של מרכז ווילי ברנדט
לוגו של הקרן לירושלים
לוגו של קרן ביידר
לוגו של מט"י ירושלים
לוגו של מיני אקטיב
לוגו של האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים
לוגו של היחידה למעורבות חברתית באוניברסיטנ העברית
לוגו של מכון לבציון של האוניברסיטה העברית
לוגו של B8 of Hope
לוגו של קרן סנטגר
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