About Us

The Aleph-Board Story

I was a seminary student frustrated with trying to type Hebrew words for my papers. By the time I would type a Hebrew word or phrase using very slow hunt-and-peck on the standard Israeli layout, I would lose my train of thought, or worse, totally forget what I was trying to learn when typing my Hebrew homework. There had to be a better way than finding a Hebrew version of Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. In fact, there is. The Hebrew QWERTY-Phonetic keyboard layout is designed for English speakers already familiar with the QWERTY keyboard layout. Hebrew letters are matched to their English/Latin letter equivalents by sound (sameḥ on the S key), letter name (aleph on the A key), and shape (shin/sin on the W key). Once I converted to this system, my typing speed picked up dramatically. My prayers were answered! (Had to slip that in … I’m a seminary student you know.)

How easy is it? My wife and I spent a semester in Israel to really hone our Hebrew skills. One day she borrowed my laptop to do her ulpan homework. In less than 10 minutes she was hooked. And then… she wouldn’t give my laptop back, always wanting it to do her Hebrew homework!

I looked in vain all over Jerusalem for a sticker set I could use to customize my wife’s laptop. But customizing an Israeli-layout sticker set takes a long time, and it also takes three Israeli-layout sticker sets to make one QWERTY-Phonetic sticker set. And Israeli sticker sets don’t include nikud. It never happened for my wife while we were in Israel.

When we got home from Israel, I set about rectifying this problem. To my surprise, no one was making Hebrew QWERTY-Phonetic keyboards or key cap sticker sets, nor was software easily available to make alternate Hebrew layouts work in Windows and OS X. So I created the Aleph-Board, not just for my wife, but for any native English speaker who wants to type in Hebrew. If the time and effort to learn the Israeli Hebrew keyboard layout isn’t possible, then Aleph-Board is for you! Now, typing in Hebrew can be easy and quick with complete hardware and software solutions from Aleph-Board!