There are many wonderful websites and apps that teach Hebrew and feature Jewish holidays, history and culture that you can share with your child. (These sites and apps are free at the time of posting unless marked.)
Staying Connected to our Community
- JCC Channel J: This is JCC Chicago’s website with “creative ideas for children, adults, seniors, teens and families. Live and downloadable content for all generations to fill our minds, souls and spirits.”
- JCFS Response for Teens: Resources for teens and their families on a variety of topics, like this blog post on staying involved in social action while social distancing.
- JUF Coronavirus Community Resources: Resources and support from JUF.
Hebrew Fluency and Fun
- Music and Trope with Ms. Carrie: Our Tuesday night Hebrew students and Chorus members can find music and Trope resources on Ms. Carrie’s website.
- Behrman House: Behrman House (our Hebrew curriculum publisher) has games featuring the Aleph Bet, Hebrew conversation, and holidays. 3rd graders can go to “Practice Hebrew” for the word building selections from Shalom Uvracha. 4th-6th graders can click “Prayer Practice” for every prayer found in the Hineni book series 1-3 read aloud word-by-word and line-by-line by fluent Hebrew speakers for practice at home! This site uses flash, so mobile device must use flash-capable browser like Puffin browser. Chrome’s last update has made using Flash much more difficult on this browser. Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers are more Flash-friendly on desktops.
- Duolingo: Want to learn Hebrew in just a few minutes a day? Start with the Aleph-Bet, and move on to conversational Modern Hebrew.
- Rae’s Resources: A YouTube channel featuring prayer Karaoke.
- Shalom Hebrew: An app full of Hebrew games based on the 3rd grade Shalom Uvracha Hebrew book. (The first 5 lessons are in the free version, If you like the app, there rest can be unlocked with a fee.) Also available at the Google Play store and for Amazon Kindle.
- The Aleph Bet App: Younger kids can trace the letters, match the letters to make a word, and find a letter with the games in this app.
- Hebrew Next is the official Hebrew flashcard app of Birthright Israel Next. This app teaches common phrases in Hebrew with transliteration and audio files.
- Ma Kore teaches modern Hebrew with lessons from beginner to advanced. The website also has an app available to download. Lesson include conversations, and basics like Aleph-Bet, grammar, and topics like numbers and colors.
- The Aleph Beis App teaches the Aleph Bet in game with three progressively more difficult levels (the first level is free to try.) This doesn’t teach any words, but will help kids learn to recognize letters in different fonts through a fun and colorful game!
- Our 4th-6th grade now have Flipgrids! Make fun videos of your Hebrew reading with the option to add text, stickers, and more. Your child’s user name is their first and last name with no spaces. For example: JaneSmith. Our grids are:
- AlephBeta.org: Animation and videos about the weekly Torah portion, holidays, and more!
- BimBam.com: “a studio making Jewish videos, apps and animated series that are joyful, empowering introductions to Jewish ideas and life for kids & adults.”
- MyJewishLearning.com is a multi-media site featuring an encyclopedic range of information on Jewish holidays, history, and traditions written for people of any background and all levels of previous Jewish learning.
- Jewniverse describes itself as featuring “extraordinary, inspirational, forgotten, and just-plain-strange dispatches from Jewish culture, tradition, and history. ” If you’re looking for fun facts to share over brunch or a twist on something you thought you knew, this is the place.
- Let’s Bake Challah!: Teaches your child how to prepare challah and the blessings we recite over challah in a fun game.
- Kveller.com is “a website for those who want to add a Jewish twist to their parenting.” In addition to the national site, there a Kveller site specifically with stories from and about the Chicagoland area!
- Dig Quest lets you go on a virtual archaeological dig at sites in Israel! Also available at the GooglePlay store.
- Wondering which blessing to use over your pizza? iBeracha has the answer! Search their library of foods to which blessings to use, and learn about the Halachot with this app.
- While not a specifically Jewish site, GrokNation.Com is headed by Kveller columnist (and star of a few little shows like Blossom and The Big Bang Theory) Mayim Bialik. This site tackles a variety of topics and many Jewish themes.
- One of my favorite sites is JI Tap from Jewish Interactive! You can download this to your PC or mobile device and play one of their thousands of games, and even create your own!
- Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur:
- Wake Up World interactive book and shofar sounds to wake up the world this Rosh HaShanah
- Shofar App – hear the sounds of the shofar on your tablet or phone
- Jonah Run: This retro-inspired game from BimBam takes Jonah from Jaffa to Tarshish to belly of a giant fish as he runs from Ninevah in a zippy, 8-bit, infinite runner game!
- Sukkah Challenge: Build a Sukkah from blueprints from the Torah and with the help of a very chatty parrot. Kids learn all about the traditions of Sukkot in this colorful game.
- Simchat Torah:
- Light my Fire: A Hanukkah App from the The Jewish Museum for App Store and Google Play shares information about Chanukah and photos of their collection of chanukiot.
- Menorah: This app lets you light a digital Menorah and guides you through the blessings.
- This article from The DigitalJLearning Network has lots of Chanukah links!
- Where did the Maccabees fight? MyJewishLearning.com has the answer (and a map!) in this article.
- For a more modern retelling of the story of the Maccabees, check out the Maccabeats Hamilton-inspired Chanukah video, Hasmonean, on their official website. (And check out all their other Chanukah songs like Latke Recipe and All About That Neis!)
- Young kids can read the story of Maccabees, color pictures, and play a Chanukah song with the My Hanukkah app from App Sameach.
- Play dreidel anywhere, and learn how to play, with Spin the Dreidel.
- Go to Virtual Menorah to light a virtual, full screen chanukiah on this website (app available) and set a timer for how long you want the candles to burn.
- Tu B’Shvat
- Make It Grow explains the importance of Tu B’Shvat, lets you grow your own garden, and sings a Tu B’Shvat song!
- The PJ Library has 9 Ways to Celebrate Tu B’Shvat With Your Kids! Don’t forget to sign up for your free Jewish picture books to be sent to your home, or chapter books for older kids through PJ Our Way.
- Learn the Modeh Ani and create a “Tree of Gratitude” (just in time for Tu B’Shvat!) with iThankYou.
- Learn about Tu B’Shvat and how to hold a Tu B’Shvat seder with these videos from Shaboom and BimBam.
- Read the whole megillah and sound the groggers, too! It’s all on the Megillas Esther App for iOS and Android.
- Learn all about Purim, give to the poor, and read the whole Megillah (in Hebrew) with The Purim App for iOS and Android.
- JOFA has created a web page and app for Android and iOS (search for JOFA’s Megillat Esther on the App Store) that shows the Megillat Esther in Hebrew with translations, and even chants it for you. You can use this app to learn how to chant the Megillat Esther yourself!
- Get all your Passover preparations organized with the Passover Assistant app. This app has recipes, a meal planner, shopping list, and can even read the the Four Questions!
- Get ready for Passover with Let’s Get Ready For Passover! Get your virtual house ready for Passover and learn about the rules of this special Jewish holiday!
- Remember MASH? The old paper and pencil game gets a digital upgrade to “predict” your Passover Seder with MASH Passover!
- Get through Egypt and cross the Red Sea with Race to the Red Sea! This game was designed by 7th grade students (with help from Jewish Interactive) and features a Super Mario– style run through Egypt to get to the Red Sea.
- To learn more about the best holiday you may have never heard of, watch this video from Bim Bam:
- lick here for tons of Shavuot games you can play on your browser!
Check back for more new sites throughout the year!
* These sites are not designed or maintained by Congregation Beth Shalom. *