The hebrew alphabet must be the first thing we learn.
I think that it's extremely difficult to learn this language with the basic Duolingo method without learning the alphabet. Isn't there any way to learn the alphabet in the first few courses before starting with the words?
There is nothing other than the tiny cards course, I've been struggling with the same problem. And for some reason, there are a lot of mentions to a memrise course that teaches you the names of the letters, but not how to pronounce them. Honestly, without any other sort of support material, the only options are either the tiny cards course, or opening the tips and notes table on another window, and try to read it letter by letter. Not very helpful, I know, but I've seen no other way so far. Also, the memrise course uses a different print, so it's not even going to help you recognize the letters.
You can learn the alphabet in Duolingo here: https://tinycards.duolingo.com/decks/6K1ynz/the-hebrew-alphabet?lesson=0
You can also find lessons online
If you are using duoLingo on the web (rather than the app). there is a tips and notes section for each lesson. When you click on the lesson you see a popup. The link to the tips and notes is via the bulb icon in the top right of the popup. However I should say - I did not use this myself because I came to know about it only a few days back via this discussion forum & I have been doing the Hebrew course for more than 140 days now. I personally used the wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_alphabet#Alphabet
here you can learn and practice the letters and their pronunciation
you can start with: (start at the top) (2) תַפְרִיט רָאשִי (1)--> קָמָץ – פַּתָח
if you look at the second lesson of "קָמָץ – פַּתָח": הַשְלָמַת צֵירוּף בְּמִילָה
and if you also look at how the first lessons from the Chinese duolingo lessons were made, then I think it would be perfectly possible to make the first duolingo lessons for Hebrew in a similar way.
Knowing alphabet won't help you much because this course omits vowels. The authors designed it for themselves and for other people who already know Hebrew. Every time we ask for nikkud (vowel signs) they reply "We don't use it in Israel". Which is actually a lie, Jewish kids learn reading and writing with vowel signs, they only stop using them when they become proficient. This course is useless for beginners.