By: Ariel Kahan  | 

Two Longtime Hebrew Professors Announce Departure from YU as University Restructures Hebrew Department

Professors Chaya Glaser and Sigal Shalom, two longtime instructors at Wilf Campus’s Hebrew Department, will not be returning to teach at YU for the 2022-23 academic year. This news follows the planned implementation of YU’s initiative to restructure the Hebrew Department to asynchronous instruction for the upcoming academic year. 

Professor Glaser notified Judaic Studies Department Chair Aaron Koller, Dean Shalom Holtz and Dean Karen Bacon of her plans to depart on June 1. Glaser told The Commentator that she made her decision after learning  the details of the Hebrew Department’s restructuring. 

"As soon as I understood the exact details of the new Hebrew program and what it entails, I knew that I could not stay at YU," Glaser, who began teaching at YU in 2011 and taught all levels of Hebrew, told The Commentator.

Glaser explained what made the new program unappealing to her. "In this program, there is no real teaching involved … The teacher might suggest a remote group discussion, but there is no real kesher (bond) with the students. This is not a good way to learn a safa (language)."

"My passion is teaching,” Glaser explained, “and I can't picture myself staring at the computer correcting papers instead of interacting directly with the students themselves … To learn/master a language, it is extremely important to have another person present to constantly converse with, practice, and use the language. You cannot do it with an asynchronous program." 

Though she is leaving, Glaser is grateful for her years of teaching at YU. “I feel fortunate to have met so many wonderful students. I am proud of them all for the interest they showed, and the effort they put into learning [Hebrew]. ​I am going to miss teaching at YU, and I will miss the special connection, the kesher I had with my students."

Professor Sigal Shalom began teaching at YU in 2010 and taught intermediate and advanced Hebrew. 

Shalom and Bacon declined to respond to The Commentator’s requests for comment.


Photo Caption: Professors Glaser and Shalom

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University