Hebrew Charter School in Philadelphia

Hebrew Charter School in Philadelphia

Whether or not a new Hebrew charter school with middle east studies will be opened in Philadelphia soon is a big question. Many businessmen in the city are optimistic about the subject and look to a lovely building placed on Vine Street, whose threshold must be crossed by its first disciples. However, the School District of Philadelphia is not in a rush to even consider this project. Steve Crane, who heads the committee on the establishment of charter schools with the study of Hebrew, which will not be taught the basis of religion, believes that its creation is possible according to the “charter” law of 1997.

Associates confirms that the proposed charter of the future of charter schools (Hebrew Language Charter School) does not require the approval of the School Reform Commission, since it will operate as a satellite network World Communications Charter School.

United World Communications was opened in 1997 with the aim of preparing students of the city and suburbs for competitive selection and participation in global society. 94% of its students were African Americans, 5% were Hispanic, 1% were representatives of other cultures.

Martin Ryder, founder and executive director of World Communications, wrote in an e-mail: “The Board of Trustees of World Communications considered a request by Mr. Crane and found that the demand for schools, focusing on the study and the study of the Middle East, is not sufficient to require the opening of the campus or the introduction of course”.
Crane, however, insists that Ryder and his board had promised, as soon as the Hebrew-language charter school will show “a sufficient number of students enrolled in it, World Communications will proceed to further training, so the school would be open within 2010 or 2011”. Ryder did not respond to the subject.

Meanwhile, according to Crane, the creation of charter schools with the study of Hebrew has received tremendous support by Philadelphia residents. The project aroused so much interest in the Russian immigrant community that the organizers had to print brochures in Russian.

People started to think and talk about the creation of a Hebrew Language Charter School, even then, when the “charter” movement in the 1990’s started, said Crane.

“I do not want anyone to think that we are unique”, – Crane said. After all, such schools are open in Florida and Brooklyn, and the center of Hebrew Language Charter School in New York began to provide grants to applicants wishing to open such schools.

Crane emphasized that the proposed Hebrew Language Charter School will not be taught religion and it will not be a Jewish school.

“We aim to attract a diverse student body,” – convinces Crane. – “After all, the school will be established on public money. And this fact does not give the right to religious motives.” He also noted that the school will not compete with the Jewish day schools in the district, as it would be secular.

Crane said that he intends to open schools with no less than 200 students, from grades 6 to 10, with the addition of grades 11 and 12 later on.

Photo by flickr.com/photos/baltimoreheritage

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