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Students Say Thank You to Ulpan-Or during Tel Aviv Graduation

Office Admin : 23/01/2011 17:40 : Israel news

“הנה הנאומים של בני הזוג דיוויד ומרגו לואי מאוסטרליה, תלמידי אולפן-אור בסניף ת”א, שלמדו למעלה מחודשיים באולפן-אור, הגיעו ללא ידע בעברית, והיום הם כבר כותבים ונואמים בעברית. את הנאומים האלו קראו בטקס סיום הקורס שלהם באולפן-אור:”

Students Say Thank You to Ulpan-Or during Tel Aviv GraduationHere are the speeches from David and Margo Lowy, a couple from Australia that studied with us at Ulpan Or in Tel Aviv. They studied with us for over 2 months and didn’t know any Hebrew when they arrived. Today they can write and give speeches in Hebrew! The following speeches are from their graduation ceremony at Ulpan-Or.

דיוויד לואי 19.1.2011:

מחר אחזור לאוסטרליה אחרי חודשיים וחצי באולפן אור. רציתי ללמוד עברית כדי להיות מחובר לארץ ישראל. יש לי רגשות חזקים לישראל. אבא שלי בא לישראל אחרי מלחמת העולם השנייה ב-1946 כשהוא היה בן שש עשרה. הוא הצטרף להגנה ואז לצה”ל לגולני. ב-1952 אבא שלי נסע לאוסטרליה לבקר את אמא שלו ואחים שלו. הם נסעו לאוסטרליה ממחנה זמני כי לבעל של דודה שלי יש משפחה באוסטרליה, וגם אי אפשר היה להיכנס לישראל. אבא שלי החליט להישאר באוסטרליה כי הוא לא רצה להיפרד מאמא שלו שוב. בין 46 ל-54 הם לא ראו אחד את השני, אבל הם כתבו אח לשני כל שבוע. לא הרבה אחרי שהוא הגיע לאוסטרליה הוא פגש את אמא שלי ואחרי זמן קצר נולדתי. אפילו שאבא שלי לא גר בישראל היא הייתה חשובה מאד בשבילו. היום, לכל המשפחה שלי יש קשר חזק לישראל. יש לנו בית פה והבן שלנו לפעמים גר פה וההורים והאחים שלי באים לישראל הרבה, ואנחנו רוצים להיות פה בעתיד. אני רוצה לומר תודה גדולה להדס וגם תודה רבה ליואב וצביקה ולכול המורים באולפן. כולכם נחמדים וחכמים. אני אראה אתכם בקרוב. להתראות.

David Lowy – January 19, 2011

Tomorrow I am going back to Australia after 2 and ½ months at Ulpan-Or. I wanted to learn Hebrew in order to be connected to Israel. I have strong feelings to Israel. My father came to Israel after WWII in 1946 when he was 16. He joined the Hagana and the Golani unit of Tzahal (the Israel Defense Forces). In 1952, my father went to Australia to visit his mother and siblings. They went to Australia from a temporary camp because my aunt’s husband had family in Australia, and it was not possible to enter into Israel. My father decided to stay in Australia because he didn’t want to be separated from his mother again. Between 1946 and 1954 they didn’t see each other, but they wrote to one other every week. Not long after her arrived in Australia, he met my mother and after a short time I was born. Even though my father doesn’t live in Israel, Israel is very important to him. Today, all of my family has a strong connection with Israel. We have a house here and our son sometimes lives here and my parents and siblings also come to Israel a lot, and we want to be here in the future. I want to say a big thank you to Hadas and also thank you very much to Yoav, Tzvika, and all the teachers at the ulpan. You are all very nice and smart. I will see you soon. L’hitraot.

מרגו לואי 19.1.2011:

שלום שמי מרגו. מחר אני שמחה ועצובהביחד. אנחנו ניסע לסידני אחרי הצהריים אחרי האולפן מחר ואנחנו נעשה חופש עם חברים שלנו. אני אראה את הנמל של סידני…ים ושמים ואולי אני אחשוב שהזמן בישראל היה לי הכי טוב בחיים-אז בעליאומר ‘מה לעשות?’.

היום אני רוצה לחשוב על למה ישראל ממש מיוחדת. אני חושבת הרבה סיבות-אנשים, ארץ, ישן וצעיר, טבע. אני חושבת שישראל הייתה לי הרבה כמו בועה בשבילי. תל אביב, ירושלים, דרום, צפון – זה קשה להבין. אני זוכרת שבת ראשונה בתל אביב. הלכנו למסעדה בים וישבנו-קצת לא בטוח-איך להיות בישראל. עכשיו יותר קל…אנחנו מרגישים יותר סובלניים. זה יוםהיה הרבה חיים. משפחה דיברה, ילדים שיחקו ,שמש וים-זה כיף. אכלנו ארוחת שבת עם דניאל ואילנה-זה היה מיוחד. אלנה ואני בישלנו ביחד-הרגשתי שמחה. לפעמים אחרי אולפן היינו שותים קוקטייל במסעדה על ים ממול דירה שלנו. ראינו שמש יורדת ואנשים במים על גלשנים. ישראלים יודעים איך לעשות כיף ולזרום ועבודה קשה.

אחד דברים מיוחדים בישראל זה אולפן-אור. אני לא מבינה למה ללמוד זה כיף. הרבה צחוק, הרבה שירים, הרבה מילים, הרבה ללמוד, הרבה סיפורים פוגשים אנשים חדשים והרבה סבלנות. ודיוויד ואני למדנו ביחד-זה מאוד שונה וחשוב…אנחנו מדברים עברית, יש לנו רק בעיה אחת-איפה נגור…מה לעשות? גם הוא חושב שיש לנו קונספירציה נשית באולפן-מה פתאום!

…טיילנו עם נחומי, צביקה ויואב. הם רוצים לדבר רק עברית-לפעמים ראש שלי לא זז. למדנו הרבה בבית קפה ואיך לעצבן אנשים ברחוב-זה כיף-והטיולים עוזרים לנו מאד. אני אהבתי הרבה לצחוק, ללכת ויושבת בקפה עם יואב-הוא מדבר לאט לאט בשבילי…אז אני רוצה לומר תודה רבה לכל אנשים של אולפן אור. עכשיו דיוויד ואני מתחילים להיות קצת ישראלים – אנחנו שמחים – להתראות!

Margo Lowy – January 19, 2011

(Margo liked to write long speeches, this is an excerpt from her last speech)

Hi, my name is Margo. Tomorrow I will be both happy and sad. We are going to Sydney in the afternoon after ulpan and we will have vacation with our friends. I will see the port of Sydney… the sea and the sky and maybe I will think that my time in Israel was the best in my life – so my husband says, “what to do?”

Today I want to think about why Israel is so special. I think there are a lot of reasons – the people, the land – old and new, and nature. I think that Israel was very much like a bubble for me. Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, south, north – it’s hard to understand. I remember my first Shabbat in Tel Aviv. We went to a restaurant by the sea and sat – not so sure, how to be in Israel. Now it’s much easier –we feel more forgiving. This was a day with lots of life. The family spoke, the kids played, the sun and the sea, that’s fun! We ate Shabbat lunch with Daniel and Elana – that was special. Elana and I cooked together – I felt happy. Sometimes, after ulpan, we would drink cocktails at the restaurant on the beach across from our apartment. We saw the sun set and people in the water on surfboards. Israelis know how to have fun, to flow and to work hard.

One of the special things in Israel is Ulpan-Or. I don’t understand why learning is fun. Lots of laughter, lots of songs, lots of words, lots to learn, lots of stories, meeting new people, and lots of patience. And David and I learned together – this is very different and important. We speak Hebrew, we just have one problem – where we will live – What will we do? David also thinks that there is a female conspiracy at ulpan – No way!

Trips with Nachum, Tzvika and Yoav. They only want to speak Hebrew – sometimes my head doesn’t move. We learned a lot in coffee shops and how to bother people on the street that was fun! The trips helped us a lot. I loved to laugh a lot, to walk and sit at cafés with Yoav; he spoke very slowly for me. I want to say thank you to all the people at Ulpan Or. Now David and I are beginning to be a little Israeli – We’re happy – L’hitraot!

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Hebrew words for places around Jerusalem

Office Admin : 21/01/2011 12:28 : Israel news

The Hebrew language is not at all like English or any of the Romance languages, so if you’re caught in Jerusalem and hoping to tour around, you won’t be able to get by with your best accented versions of your native language. Of course English is well spoken by many Israelis, but if you’re unfortunate enough to run into the non-English speaking types, here are some words to help you get around:

  1. כותל, or “kotel,” is the Hebrew word for the Western Wall, the most venerable site in Judaism. The full phrase is כותל המערבי, or “kotel hamaaravi,” which includes the Western part, but it’s not necessary to use the second word, as everyone will know what you’re talking about if you ask for the kotel. In fact, if you know no other words and say “kotel?” with just the right questioning lilt, you’ll get pointed in the right direction. (Which means the average Israeli will tell you “go straight,” but that’s for another post…) This site sits adjacent to important spots that are holy to other religions as well, such as the Temple Mount, which houses Islam’s Dome of the Rock, and Christianity’s Via Dolorosa.
  2. The כנסת, “Knesset,” is the Israeli parliament which meets in Jerusalem. The words Knesset literally means assemble, and comes from the root כ נ ס, which means to gather.
  3. יד ושם, the museum dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust, translates as “A Hand and a Name,” which references a verse from the prophets: And to them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name (a “yad vashem”)… that shall not be cut off.” (Isaiah 56: 5.)

With a few words in tow, you’ll be able to hit all these places and learn some Hebrew along the way – to get you to your next spot.

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Tel Aviv: Officially the third best city in the world

Office Admin : 17/01/2011 13:35 : Israel news

It’s Official. Tel Aviv is one of the top ten cities in the world. Number three, according to Lonely Planet, the organization that produces the indispensable travel guides which any self-respecting traveler can’t be seen without. Yes, Lonely Planet knows a thing or two about what’s hot around the globe and for them Tel Aviv is sizzling along nicely right now.

Tel Aviv is the complete opposite of Israel’s other major city and tourist draw, Jerusalem. Instead of holy sites there are more clubs, bars, party venues and deck chairs than you can shake a Goldstar beer at. But you gotta know Hebrew if you want to party!

But it’s not just the partying that makes Tel Aviv great. The city’s unique architecture, thriving cultural and artistic life and gastronomic prowess are all features in Lonely Planet’s lavish praise of the city.

To start with, there’s the world famous Bauhaus architecture of Tel Aviv’s White City. Designed by German-Jewish artists who fled Germany in the 1930s, Tel Aviv has the largest number of these elegantly-fashioned buildings in the world. This unique cultural treasure was recognized by the cultural arm of the UN, UNESCO, when it designated White City as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 2003.

Then there’s Tel Aviv’s amazingly vibrant and diverse cultural scene. The Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center is the home of the Israeli Opera which stages classical and Israeli operas with internationally renowned conductors, musicians and artists as well as accomplished Israeli opera artists.

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, established in 1932, is another big cultural draw, housing the works of some of the most prominent Impressionist and twentieth century artists. Paintings by Degas, Matisse, Renoir and Picasso hang in the museum and Van Gogh’s stunning work, The Shepherdess, is one of its crown jewels. Whether you’re into Expressionism, Modernism, Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, or Impressionism you will be impressed with this artistic Mecca.

The history of Tel Aviv is also the history of the Zionist movement. Jews returning to the holy land started settling in the Tel Aviv region at the beginning of the Zionist endeavor. Yemenite Jews who arrived in 1881 began building homes and markets there and this neighborhood still forms the central part of the התימנים כרם (Kerem HaTeimanim – literally Vineyard of the Yemenites) neighborhood today. Jews from Russia fleeing persecution came and built the beautiful neighborhood of נווה צדק (Neve Tzedek) in 1887. Menachem Begin hid from the British authorities in Tel Aviv during the period of the revolt against British rule, and the Israeli Declaration of Independence was signed in what is now Independence Hall in the heart of Tel Aviv.

All of these historic events can be relived today by visiting the various museums in Tel Aviv dedicated to preserving the memory of those times.

And of course, the crowning glory: Ulpan-Or’s learning facilities in Tel Aviv. If you’re sufficiently inspired by this party-and-cultural-fest of a city to visit it, be sure to connect further with the city’s Zionist roots by learning some of the lingo in one of Ulpan-Or’s Hebrew language courses. Whether you want to pick up some basics (like “can you make me a Cosmopolitan” – basic language in Tel Aviv at least) or to learn some serious Hebrew in a more intensive language course, Ulpan-Or will definitely be able to accommodate you.

You can even learn Hebrew while you’re checking out Tel Aviv’s sites and sounds. Ulpan-Or’s “Hebrew to Go” program combines a two-hour ulpan lesson of intense Hebrew conversation with a trip to a museum, art gallery or other attraction.

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The Best Method for Learning Hebrew

Office Admin : 14/01/2011 14:20 : Israel news

Have your tried to learn Hebrew and been disappointed in the results? Perhaps you’re looking into learning the holy tongue and want to get it right the first time. The bad news is that most ulpans and learning systems offer outdated methodologies that aren’t particularly successful, leaving the student more or less where he or she started. The good news is that you can find a learning atmosphere that focuses on acquiring, not just learning Hebrew, and you can attain high proficiency in as little as three months.

Language learning programs that offer formal instruction in the grammatical structure of the language have students that end up learning more “about” the language than the language itself. Experiential learning plays a large role in acquiring a new language the same way it plays the main role when children acquire their first language. That means in order to truly acquire a language, you need to be immersed in it, learning it as you’re speaking it, in a natural and uncontrolled setting.

Learning Hebrew through lecture and instruction to fluency level could take several years; true immersion, while the most natural setting, could take quite a while as well. Your best bet for quick and effective learning is through a system that focuses on acquisition, providing an atmosphere that imitates immersion while concentrating on an accelerated process.

How is this done? Being in a relaxed setting, as opposed to a formal classroom, removes some of the anxiety of feeling the need to succeed. Being in an environment that promotes language learning increases its effectiveness in contrast to simply living with the language. This strengthens motivation and self confidence.

For prospective language students, finding the right program providing the proper acquisition tools can make the difference between potential outcomes for three months from now – becoming fluent, or looking for a new system.

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Home Hebrew Learning

Office Admin : 11/01/2011 12:27 : Israel news

Learning a language is best done when completely immersed in it with no choice but to get on the bandwagon. Living in Israel is ideal for getting to know the country, the culture and the language. But if you can’t get up and leave everything you’re doing in order to move to a foreign country, move to Brooklyn or Los Angeles…just kidding! While there are large, Hebrew speaking communities in the U.S. and other countries, you can learn Hebrew online right from your home computer. Then you can visit some of those communities to practice (and show off.)

Learning Hebrew at home has a few prerequisites. Typically lessons are done over the computer through Skype, but if you don’t have access you can set it up over the phone. Outside of immersion, the best way to learn Hebrew is with a private tutor who will teach you, work with you, maximize your strengths, and build you up. Each individual learner has his own needs and way of learning, and a real, live person guiding you through the process is the fastest and most efficient way to get you up to speed.

The main thing is the desire to learn and grow. Two sessions a week for forty five minutes each is not a lot of time, but it’s the consistency and the focus that will bring success. And it’s not just a joke; try out your Hebrew with some natives as it’s the next best thing to being in Israel. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Correct yourself and try again, and discuss your errors with your private, online coach.

To learn about Ulpan-Or’s options for learning Hebrew in the convenience in your own home anywhere in the world, please click here.

Looking forward to seeing you online!

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Welcome to our brand new website

Office Admin : 11/01/2011 01:17 : Israel news

Welcome to Ulpan-Or! You’re here, reading this blog and checking out this site, because you want to learn Hebrew and you want to learn quickly. That is exactly what Ulpan-Or is designed to do.

Whether you’re looking to get some basic Hebrew pointers for when you come to Israel on vacation; or you’ve decided that you need to read Haim Nachman Bialik’s poetry in its original Hebrew; you want to learn Hebrew online and take advantage of Ulpan-Or’s unique, Rapid Language Acquisition method; or you’ve gone the whole Zionist hog and made aliyah (in which case Mazal Tov!), we have the program for you.

If you’re a frequent visitor to Israel, you’re probably already aware of the obstacles you face if you don’t know the lingo. First and foremost, you can’t shout fluently at your taxi driver for not turning on the meter. Here at Ulpan-Or, we can teach you how to say in fluent Hebrew “you drove halfway around the city to get to a spot two minutes from where we started!” I think everyone will agree, that’s a pretty valuable lesson.

If that sounds enticing, then our frothy “Cup O’ Hebrew” session is for you. Amidst the heady atmosphere of an Israeli coffee house, you get a 90-minute session of intense Hebrew conversation, enabling you to get to grips with some Hebrew essentials and start using those new-found linguistic skills right away. As a bonus, you’ll learn the difference between a latte and the local special, a haffuch, and discover why Israeli coffee is so superior that Starbucks couldn’t make it in Israel.

If that’s not your cup of…hot caffeinated beverage, you could try our “Hebrew to Go” program. It’s a two-hour session, combining Hebrew conversation with a trip to one of Israel’s innumerable attractions, archaeological treasures, museums and similar sites.

But what if you’ve taken the plunge, heeded the call of Herzl, Jabotinsky and Ben Gurion and come to live in the Jewish homeland? You need to get a handle, and quickly, on the native tongue. Learning Hebrew is THE key to a successful integration into Israeli society, getting a job, making friends and settling down. You’re going to need to negotiate some pretty scary bureaucracy, find a place to live, , make new friends and soak up some of Israel’s vibrant cultural life. For that, you’re going to want to learn Hebrew fast!

Ulpan-Or’s intense immersion courses allow you to learn to speak Hebrew confidently and much more quickly than more traditional language classes. We have intensive, one or two-week courses such as the Sabra program or the less intense Dekel course, a one month program which allows you to maintain your work (and play) schedule while building up your Hebrew language skills.

And, as we mentioned above, if you want to learn away from our Jerusalem and Tel Aviv premises the online learning courses Ulpan-Or provides are brilliant tools for getting started. You get a course tailored for your Hebrew level, and private tuition with an Ulpan-Or teacher who you connect with via Skype or phone..

Plus of course, there’s the Ulpan-Or blog. Stick this page in your favourites or in your RSS feed and you’ll get a steady stream of all things Hebrew. We’re going to introduce you to the wealth of Israeli culture and Hebrew language through this blog. Israeli slang, for example. Slang in Israel is unbelievably dynamic but can be a bit hard to grasp for the uninitiated. How’re are you going to decipher the word “לפסבק” (le-fasbek) if you didn’t read on the Ulpan-Or blog that it’s the Israeli verb for Facebooking? If you’re told that a movie or concert is simply הזמן על חבל (haval al hazman – literally, a waste of time) you might get put off, but tuning in to this blog will ensure you know that it’s not to be missed. If you want to know what’s hot in the land of Hebrew; get to know some classic and contemporary Israeli literature and music; and generally be informed about the rich and vibrant Hebrew culture, then watch this space.

Please let us know what you think, make a comment below or contact us today to learn more about Ulpan-Or.

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