Community Reacts: Milken to Remove Hebrew Requirement


Jared Hasen-Klein

The Roar recently covered Milken’s move to remove Hebrew as a graduation requirement starting next fall. Community members were quick to respond on both sides of the argument.

Some think that the school’s decision to remove the requirement was wrong, but they see a necessary shift in curriculum:

Others see Hebrew classes as an essential piece of Jewish institutions:

John Levy ‘21 remarked, “I don’t think it’s a good idea. We are at a Jewish school – they should require it. It’s important to Judaism.”

However, some recognize that flexibility can only improve the school:

Sarah Lande ‘21 comments, “For the people who want to take Hebrew, they still can. For people who it’s not part of their values, they don’t have to. We’re a pluralistic community. For me personally, I’ll still take Hebrew.”

Many of these reactions were visceral – individuals reacted based only on the notion that Hebrew would no longer be a requirement. However, students who elect not to take Hebrew will be obligated to take another World Language and a supplemental Jewish Studies course. In other words, each year, students will have to take two classes as a substitute for one. Slava Chemerinski ‘18 says that the administration claims they have, “made a change but I don’t know who would take two additional classes. They are trying to satisfy everyone.”

It is also important to remember that this is an experimental alternative track. Not all students will be following this new track and its implementation will be reevaluated after it comes into effect.

So, what are your thoughts on Milken’s shift in course requirements for the 2018-2019 school year? Let us know in the comments below!