Teachers in Ulpanim - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Stanley Cohen
    • 20.12.09 | 19:05 (IST)

    Sir, I am informed by an unimpeachable source in the Ulpan system of Iriat Yerushalayim of the intention to close all Ulpanim at present financed by the Jerusalem Civic Authorities. Of all the quintessential factors which lead to a smooth and satisfactory absorption of Olim Chadashim into the mainstream of Israeli society none is greater than the Ulpan system in all of its ramifications. Whether the intensive hours of full-time study all week leading to assimilation into the professional and work market, or the more leisurely part-time studies which enable those of abilities ranging from total illiteracy to reasonable competence to find easier access to the mysteries of the Shuk, the Misrad P'nim or just the taxi driver and the monosyllabic bus driver. A full team of highly motivated and expert teachers, imparting to their eager pupils so much more than binyanim of verbs or the totally frustrating and utterly illogical area of Milot hayachas, these individuals gently and persuasively guide us through and over the minefields that constitute the ever-changing field that is colloquial and academic Ivrit and for those of us sufficiently competent, to examine the richness of Israeli literature. It would be a gross understatement to say that we could have probably managed without them, more an insult to their dedication and efficacy. All the time this instruction proceeds we are painlessly and cheerfully introduced to the history and the Tarbut of Eretz Yisra'el. Short stories, newspaper articles, descriptions of life style from our former home countries compared and contrasted with our new homes. That an Israeli never replies to a received invitation to a simcha and expostulates if they are asked subsequenly whether they are indeed coming [since why would they not after being invited!] That it is unusual for teenagers to stand for the elderly in a crowded bus since they are the future and only pressing need will prompt an offer of a seat. That some of the language of newspapers and magazine articles is sometimes reserved just for the written page but never for speech [other than a real public speech]. All of this and much more are conveyed through the medium of the Ulpan system, set up by the founders of the State wisely and intelligently to shepherd the unwary through their early months and even their years in this wonderful Land of ours. The diminution or removal of such an essential service to Am Yisra'el would be nothing short of betrayal of the tenets of Am Yisra'el arevim zeh lazeh. Stanley Cohen Baka Jerusalem

    from the article: Israeli teacher's blog: I'd like to spray class with machine gun
    First published 01:12 20.12.09 | Last updated 11:31 20.12.09
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