TWILIGHT ZONE Reentry and Quick Exit

Was last week just a bad dream? Have I been living in a Wizard of Oz delusion for the past month? No, I checked and there are no bumps on my head. So how do we explain the drastic turn of events? You may recall that I was told the school had a new teacher in 2nd grade who doesn’t speak English and none of the 18 boys in the class do either. Well, Friday was Yisrael’s first day in the new school and we were in for a big surprise! Continue reading TWILIGHT ZONE Reentry and Quick Exit


TWILIGHT ZONE – Israeli Education Episode 2

In last week’s episode we were waiting for a decision phone call from the man at the Education Ministry. No call.

After many e-mail and phone calls, Shelley Brinn (Ma’aleh Adumim Community Aliyah Coordinator) got us an audience with the mysterious Yoav – whose last name and title were not disclosed to us (things are very casual here)– on Monday at 1 p.m. We were annoyed that the only time they could schedule this meeting was at an hour that they knew Michael couldn’t be there – but not to worry, we are high-tech people… I called and put him on my cell phone’s speaker so he could hear every word.

Initially Yoav didn’t think transferring Yisrael to a different school was a good solution since there is violence in all schools. I acknowledged that if that were the only reason I would agree, however, our real issue was the school’s lack of responsiveness – not only to the attack on our son but also in their refusal to return calls or schedule the meetings I had requested before and after school started for the year. Continue reading TWILIGHT ZONE – Israeli Education Episode 2


TWILIGHT ZONE – The Israeli Education System

Thank you to those of you who have voiced your concerns over why I haven’t blogged in about a week – it’s nice to know that someone is reading my rantings 🙂 We have been in a surreal experience since Friday, September 5th and I have hesitated in posting about it because I was hoping for a speedy and happy resolution. Unfortunately (almost 2 weeks later) the nightmare has not been resolved. We are being bureaucratically obscured from moving our son to a different school. And being the stubborn person I am, he hasn’t been in any school during those 2 weeks.

Warning! This is going to be a long one! Continue reading TWILIGHT ZONE – The Israeli Education System


Ulpan Reconnaissance: French Hill

After Morasha, I moved on to French Hill. I had to call 2 different numbers to get an English speaking woman who could only tell me that the #4 bus comes to their parking lot if you get a nice bus driver, otherwise you get off at “the stop” (which one she couldn’t clearly explain) and climb the stairs (I later learned that these are the 100+ terraced stairs in a nicely landscaped area). I knew this wasn’t going to help us coming from the direction of Ma’aleh Adumim and didn’t want to have to go back to the Central Bus Station (CBS) through security to wait on line at the information desk to determine what bus to take to French Hill so I bit the bullet and took another taxi. Continue reading Ulpan Reconnaissance: French Hill


Ulpan Reconnaissance: Morasha

We were told on Sunday that ulpan isn’t happening here this year. The bottom line is that they want the 17 of us to go to the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem every day as that would be more convenient and effective than having the 1 teacher come here because they have an audio learning lab that we could utilize at that location. I don’t know about my classmates, but I have dozens of expensive audio language programs that didn’t work for me so the enticement of an audio lab doesn’t do anything for me.

When I complained, I was told that it’s only a 10 minute bus ride and then a short 10 minute walk. I like to check things out in advance, for example if I have a job interview or appointment at a new doctor’s office, I usually scout out the location a day or so in advance. So I went to French Hill today to determine whether or not I could physically handle getting there. Continue reading Ulpan Reconnaissance: Morasha


Children’s Ulpan-Summer Camp

Yisrael started ulpan at the Musar Avicha shul on Sunday the 17th. His first few days were rough because he preferred to be home playing video games, watching DVDs or playing with friends. AND he thought it was babyish because he knew it all – until we tested him! Continue reading Children’s Ulpan-Summer Camp


Acting Out – A Societal Excuse

Today I had the privilege of observing the olim children’s ulpan (summer camp Hebrew learning program for new immigrants) because the director felt (and I agreed) that the teenage instructors were not equipped to handle children “acting out” – in other words my son misbehaved and disrupted the class again yesterday. I find this term rather amusing because when I was growing up and a child misbehaved, he was punished by one or both of his parents – and possibly his teacher or even the adult neighbor who caught him in the act. That was it, each child knew where he stood and what was expected of him – the line was clearly drawn in the sand and crossing it meant some form of discomfort (usually physical, sometimes emotional with privileges or a favorite toy withheld, and sometimes monetary). Continue reading Acting Out – A Societal Excuse