course
Intermediate Modern Hebrew II

Dec 2017

Yitzhak is the best teacher I ever had for hebrew language. He is nice, understanding, and extremely smart. He teaches the material slowly and clearly, and always makes sure we understand before continuing on. The tests are extremely fair, they're always exactly what we learned in class AND he provides a practice exam beforehand which is extremely similar to the test. He grades fairly, and drops our lowest grade. He is just a great great teacher, and I can honestly say I've learned an insane amount of hebrew compared to before the semester.

May 2014

Rina is the best! You'll learn Hebrew very well, including all the grammar rules, and you'll have a great time doing it. Rina's class is always lighthearted and fun, but you're also always learning. Rina's background in linguistics means she knows how to teach the language in a way that students understand. She's also just a great, caring, sassy person; get to know her outside of class, too. Basically, take this class. You won't regret it.

Feb 2014

Illan is enthusiastic, intelligent, smart, funny, and patient. He teaches 1st and 2nd Year Hebrews I and II. He's laid back, which allows the students to develop camaraderie with him and each other. He has a huge bank of knowledge about Semitic languages and linguistics in general, and he incorporates his knowledge into lessons. He is always good-natured and willing to meet with students outside of class. He wants nothing more than for his students to succeed, and it shows. He prioritizes the needs of the class before any others, and still manages to teach material thoroughly. He seems to truly love to teach, which makes his class all the more enjoyable. He wants to share his knowledge, and he wants his students to appreciate it and to love learning it. I could not recommend Illan more.

May 2012

she teaches hebrew language.I wouldnt recommend her. just stick with Rina Kreitman and you will get the A you deserve. If you are good with hebrew and really understnad the material, the test grades will NOT reflect your knowledge on the material because Michal does not have a standard grading system and makes things up when she feels like it (all ambiguous). She will take points off left and right for no reason because she can. Stick with Rina.

May 2012

Nechama, above the other hebrew teachers here, is a professor. While the other classes here have a hebrew-school vibe, Nechama tones it down tremendously and is incredibly on top of her shit. She is brilliant and you will definitely learn and be challenged in this class. HOWEVER, that did not prevent this class from turning somewhat into a class on Judaism, no matter how she tried otherwise. The first few days of class my understanding was that that we would be studying Israeli literature and culture, and I was excited about this. I understood that there is an element of tradition to Israeli culture, but that it is also much much more than that. Nechama did many times try to maintain balance the tradition with the modern, but eventually catered solely to the religious crowd. ALL of her examples for new words came from the Bible, and many (if not most) of her sentences began with "For those of you who went to day school...". If you did go to day school, you will feel very comfortable in this class. If you did not, then less so. I personally did not come to this class to study Judaism, I came to learn Hebrew. I know these are by no means mutually exclusive, but they are also not identical. Nechama repeatedly emphasized how important it is to understand the Jewish tradition in order to understand Israeli literature (once in a while she even sounded apologetic about it, which I appreciated- Michal would blatantly refer the the Bible at every moment, no apologies.) I understand all of this but this did not make it easier to digest all of the torah and gemara and midrash and references to god thrown my way. Nechama is incredibly well versed- I feel like it would not have been a stretch for her to give examples from literature rather than biblical texts. This course became extremely frustrating for me- this is possibly as much the class's fault as it is hers, but this post is just to raise awareness about the extreme(ly) orthodox tone of this class.

May 2011

I am grateful to have had Rina as a professor. First of all, I don't know how she does it. In the Hebrew language program, students come from a range of Hebrew backgrounds, some have studied for ten years at Yeshiva, some have lived in Israel, and others like me began their course of study at Columbia. I went through several years of Hebrew at Columbia and consider Rina to be the best in her department. There are other great professors in the department, but none that can hold a torch to Rina. I struggled with Hebrew and had to work really hard to catch up with the other students, and Rina was there to help me along the way. She was willing to meet me in her free time to read through texts with me. In the end, I was able to do as well as the other students and this was a huge payoff. Its a good feeling to know that when something is difficult, if you work hard, you will succeed. To me that is the sign of a great teacher, someone who can take the student who struggles the most, but works hard can do as well as the other students with more experience. The subject matter she taught was practical, useful and interesting. There was one story we read about the human emotions that I will save forever. In addition, we talked about job interviews, and composing resumes in Hebrew. We also made a presentation, which gave us an opportunity to hone our public speaking skills. The texts she gave us ranged from biographies to food. I am graduating. I had to fill one more Hebrew requirement, another teacher told me that her class would be to hard for me and Rina gladly accommodated me into her class and it was well worth it. She works really hard at what she does and I was lucky to have her as a teacher.

Mar 2011

To anyone considering beginning/continuing Hebrew, I recommend Rina without hesitation. I’ve now had the privilege of taking 4 semesters with her, and if given the opportunity, I’d instantly take 4 more. Her methods of teacher and presenting information cater to all types of learners. She is clear, concise, and extremely thorough. In addition, her extensive background in Linguistics enables her to explain clearly intricacies and nuances of the Hebrew language that non-native speakers often find difficult and confusing. Rina wants nothing more than for her students to succeed, and she works herself to the bone to see that we do. Every handout is promptly posted on Courseworks; she is always readily available to discuss the material via e-mail or by appointment; she reliably provides comprehensive vocabulary lists and review sheets prior to each quiz, and her grading is more than fair – in fact, it verges on lenient. Not only is she the best language teacher this university has to offer, she is also one of my favorite people at Columbia – an all-around wonderful person, both inside the classroom and out. If you are so fortunate as to snag a spot in her class, hold on to it. Not only will you have a great learning experience, but you’ll make a great friend along the way.

May 2003

Bersohn is a great professor. Although the class meets 9am Monday-Friday (forget about going out Thursday night!), she does a great job in making sure that everyone understands the material. Bersohn emphasizes speaking, and the bulk of the written material is straight out of the (semi-outdated) text. She often refers to outside stories when reading text passages, which proves to be very helpful in students understanding listening & language comprehension. Because the class is small, everyone participates. Quizzes are frequent, which is a definite stress reliever. Very good class overall.

Mar 2003

Excellent, dedicated professor. Bersohn kept the students on their toes at all times, as she would continually call on us to answer questions on vocabulary or grammar, ensuring each student was "picked-on" in equal weight. While some of the students found Professor Bersohn to be cold, this was largely a result of her hard nosed approach to learning. She could often tell when a student was not putting in the effort, and when she did, she cut them no slack. However, if she knew you were making the effort, even if languages were not your forte, you could still be successful in the class. As a language teacher, she is excellent, clear, and willing to repeat herself until all in the class comprehend. While she might be intimidating to some students, she entertains all quesions, with little or no grief.

Jan 2000

I couldn't disagree more with that review! I found her to be downright nasty sometimes. She almost made me cry once. She was nice at the beginning of the year but she's a [insert one of your favorite nouns here] if ever I've met one.