Yael Breuer takes pupils through her book on the Hebrew language.
Photograph: courtesy Simon Marks

Pupils at Simon Marks Jewish Primary School were treated to a visit from well-known author and teacher Yael Breuer for World Book Day last week.

Breuer spent time with all classes to share insights from her book Hilarious Hebrew, which helps teach the Hebrew language, known as Ivrit, to both young and old.

The Brighton-based author, who writes for the Jewish Chronicle, is a highly regarded educator who uses illustrations and humour to expand people’s vocabulary.

Meanings and pronunciations of words are taught by applying them in sentences written in English.

For example, pupils learned the word kar, which means ‘cold’, by reading the sentence ‘It’s cold in my car’, and looking at the accompanying picture.

Many of the children at Simon Marks do not speak Ivrit at home, and so their knowledge of the language comes from lessons.

The school says pupils are performing extremely well in Ivrit, and recently impressed in a spelling competition.

Deputy headteacher Robin DasGupta said: “Having an author visit school was a magnificent opportunity for the pupils to not only develop their knowledge of Ivrit, but also meet a published author.

“This really brought World Book Day and modern foreign languages to life.

“Pupils are encouraged to practice, make mistakes and above all have fun when learning a new language.

“It was great for them to meet an author, discuss her work and get another angle on how they learn a language.”


The coronavirus outbreak sadly means the Hackney Citizen is unable to print a monthly newspaper for the first time in its 12-year history.

At a time when independent and trusted news is more important than ever, this was an incredibly difficult decision to have to make.

Without print advertising, our major source of income, a one-off donation from anyone who can afford it will help our small team keep the website and social media feeds running through this unprecedented crisis.

When Hackney and the wider world has fought off this virus and we return to some semblance of normality, the print edition will be back.

Find out how you can donate

Thanks in advance for your support, and stay safe.