Deja Vu: 2nd New Charter School Proposed


Our unique demographic has attracted a charter school promoting rigorous language study and global citizenship.

Looks like we’ve got another charter school angling for the neighborhood – specifically, in Falls Center, in the space where Agora Cyber Charter was before they moved to King of Prussia.

Philadelphia Hebrew Public is a new Philadelphia organization that’s applying to open a K-8 school in the fall of 2019. They’re part of a network of schools including Brooklyn, Harlem, New Jersey, DC, San Diego, LA, and Minneapolis… This network was awarded a $5 million federal grant from the Department of Education to open new schools, which brings them to Philly.

Emily Hurst presented at October’s RAH Civic Association meeting, explaining the schools plans and mission, answering questions, and requesting feedback from parents and neighbors.

First, the name is a little misleading, so let’s get this out of the way now:

This is not a Jewish school. Philadelphia Hebrew is a tuition-free public charter school open to any child that lives in the city of Philadelphia.

“Hebrew” in this instance, refers to the Modern Hebrew Language, which is a complex language with an entirely different alphabet – often quite challenging for native English speakers to learn. The founders of Hebrew Public schools were passionate about Modern Hebrew’s richness and history, and how this sophisticated language can open the doors to Arabic, Chinese, Greek, and other ancient tongues still useful today.

Modern Hebrew, then, forms the backbone of Philadelphia Hebrew school’s dual-language program, which includes immersive instruction for part of every day. That’s one part of the school’s educational mission. The other two parts concern developing community-oriented values for understanding our world (and succeeding in it):

  1. Diversity by Design: Hebrew Public belongs to a national movement to create high-quality schools that are racially, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse, particularly in cities that have really deep segregation within their public schools.
  2. Global Citizenship: Students are encouraged to be empathetic, intellectually curious, civically engaged, and skilled in cross-cultural communication.

Philadelphia Hebrew Public plans to open in 2019 with Kindergarten and 1st Grade, then add a grade every year up to 8th grade. They look forward to serving students in the several neighborhoods that come together at their location on Henry Avenue. And they want our feedback!

Email your questions/concerns/suggestions/etc to Emily at or contact the school through their Facebook page., where they announce regular Parent Q&A Sessions at the Falls Center, where you can meet the school’s CEO and members of their founding coalition.

Next one’s WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 8th from 6 to 7 pm. Light refreshments served.

No time for meetings but want to stay in the loop about Hebrew Public? Complete their brief “Interest to Enroll” form online.


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