Hebrew Charter Movement Gains DC School


A Hebrew charter school has been approved for Washington, D.C.

Sela Public Charter School will open in fall 2013, with 124 children in pre-K through first grade. Eventually the school, which has the backing of the New York-based Hebrew Charter School Center, will go through fifth grade.

Sela, which means “rock” or “foundation” in Hebrew, is modeled in part on Yu Ying, a successful D.C. Chinese-immersion charter school where children speak Chinese and English in alternate days.

Jessica Lieberman, one of the school’s planners, told The Jewish Week she hopes it “reflects the diversity of the city, so we have people from many different backgrounds economically, racially and ethnically.”

The school is the fourth HCSC-backed institution to secure a charter. Currently, seven Hebrew charter schools are in operation in four states and three more are slated to open in 2012.

Publicly funded and tuition-free, the schools teach Hebrew but are prohibited from teaching or promoting religion.