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.
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.
Rina Kreitman is a fantastic professor. Her classes move a reasonably fast pace, so you always feel like you're learning. She also has a good lingustic background so she is great at answering questions. She also is realistic about what you have to know and doesn't make you memorize grammar or vocabulary that is not actually used in spoken language. Very approachable and accomodating, let's you have extra time on tests and is available readily for appointments.
Rina is the best! Trained as a linguist, Rina knows her stuff and is insanely nice. Not too much works and easy grading, plus you learn the material. The class I took prepared me well, taught me quickly and was downright enjoyable. Rina is hilarious, also, and you feel like you are talking to one of your friends. She is awesome. Rina is also legit from Israel, so there is a cultural component as well.
To anyone considering beginning/continuing Hebrew, I recommend Rina without hesitation. Iâ€™ve now had the privilege of taking 4 semesters with her, and if given the opportunity, Iâ€™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 â€“ 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 â€“ 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 youâ€™ll make a great friend along the way.