Arab Israeli uses music to teach Hebrew, honored by President Rivlin

Jihan Jayber teaching Hebrew by using the song "Rain, rain drops" (Photo: screenshot)

An Arab Israeli language teacher has delighted Israeli children and adults alike with her uniquely engaging method of teaching Hebrew. Jihan Jayber, who has been an educator for 17 years, helps her pupils to learn Hebrew through singing songs and playing the darbuka in an Arab style.

Jayber caught the eye of Channel 2, a major Israeli TV station, after a video of her musical teaching style went viral in Israel.

In an interview with Channel 2, Jayber explains she had asked a pupil to take a video of her during a class only so that she could see whether she need to make any adjustments or corrections to her lesson. She had not intended for the video to be put on the internet. She says that what happened next was out of her hands as she started getting phone calls from “the whole world” asking about her new teaching method.

When asked, Jayber confirms that the children look forward to her lessons and that she got permission to bring a drum into the classroom.

A particular song Jayber sings, called גשם גשם מטפטף (Rain, Rain Drips), is so popular that some Israelis have filmed themselves singing it.

At one stage in the Channel 2 broadcast, the middle-aged, smartly dressed Israeli interviewer – who appears to have respect and affection for her – asks if Jayber could teach him a new song in order to see whether he is a good student of Hebrew. She graciously agrees, and does so.

Below is a video (in Hebrew) of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin welcoming Jihan Jayber and her family to the president’s office. He explains that he too was touched by watching her video, and he wanted to express his gratitude for her dedication to her students.