Learning Hebrew with Stick Around

Last week while reading through some business news on LinkedIn, I came across Stick Around– language stickers for the home that can help us become more fluent in Hebrew.  Being a 3-time Hebrew ulpan drop-out, I was thrilled to see a product that better addresses my learning style and at a very reasonable price.  I’m anxiously awaiting my order’s arrival and will try to remember to report back to you soon on my impressions.

In the meantime, I spoke with the creator of Stick Around and after enjoying hearing the story of how this product came about, I asked him to share it with you too. So, here is a guest post by Amit Turkenitz, owner of Gingerhood.com Continue reading Learning Hebrew with Stick Around


Understanding the Education System in Israel

This is in response to those of you who have been asking me via Facebook and e-mail about the education system in Israel. If I’ve missed something, please feel free to ask questions in the comment section below and I’ll attempt to get you answers.

Quality of Education in Israel

The quality of education in Israel varies based upon the community’s dedication to education (via tax allocations and programming), individual school’s focus, and parental involvement in the system. Unfortunately, Israeli schools are not ranked well among other countries in the developed world. But that can change, and you can play a role in improving the quality by making Aliyah and getting involved. Continue reading Understanding the Education System in Israel


I.O.U. – Ra’anana

I can’t believe three months have already passed and I haven’t told you all about our new home in Ra’anana. I do apologize for the delay and for the fact that this is going to be a long one!


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that we left our beautiful and happy home in Ma’ale Adumim (along with our settler status :() and moved to Ra’anana for employment in July.

Michael is working at Delek where he is re-learning Oracle database technology (in recent years he specialized in Microsoft SQL databases). Because of his limited Hebrew skills, and his need for retraining, he has pretty much started at the bottom in a junior-level position, but that’s okay with him because he likes it there. Delek treats their employees very well – he especially likes his co-workers and enjoys the Thursday afternoon beer and nosh treats that signal the end of the work week. Continue reading I.O.U. – Ra’anana


Ulpan: Day One

Thirteen months into my Aliyah I started ulpan today :)!

Before telling you about it, I have to apologize for letting so many weeks slip by without keeping you up-to-date on what was happening with us. I’ll do my best to catch you up in the near future (including photos) but for now suffice it to say that we have moved from Ma’ale Adumim to Ra’anana.

There are 18 people in my ulpan ranging in age from early 20s to 60s – 5 of us from the US (NY, PA and Texas) and the rest from Venezuela, Argentina, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Serbia, Slovakia and England. It’s an interesting mix of people. Our instructor, Vardit, is Israeli-born and also speaks English and a little Russian. She’s a rather animated woman causing our first class to be lively. Continue reading Ulpan: Day One


Hebrew Learning Videos

Jacob Richman has been kind enough to provide us all with a free Learn Hebrew Video series – check it out. This is in addition to the wonderful Learn Hebrew with Pictures and Audio which taught me today that a band-aid is “plaster” in Hebrew (I had to listen to the audio to learn to pronounce it correctly).

Hats off to Jacob for all the work he put into helping all of us Hebrew-challenged folks! 😀


An Aliyah Mother’s Dream Comes True!

In case you haven’t picked up on this already from reading my rantings, I am one of those mothers who constantly worries about her children; safety, health, nutrition, behavior, academic achievement, social assimilation, cleanliness, weather-appropriate clothing, etc.

Aside from the language factor, making Aliyah wasn’t much different for me than moving from New York to California, South Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee or Ohio when it came down to my children’s welfare. There are always the worries and challenges of whether or not the child will fit in socially and academically.

A few weeks ago I met with Yisrael’s ulpan teacher and her assistant to discuss his progress. Continue reading An Aliyah Mother’s Dream Comes True!


Zman Maale – Ulpan Fun Day

An article about Yisrael’s ulpan fun day appeared in this morning’s issue of Zman Maale (translated: Maale Times). I can’t tell you what it says because my Hebrew reading skills haven’t reached that level yet. If anyone out there in blogland would like to give it a try, feel free to post a translation in the comment section below.

Click this photo for a full-size PDF version.


Ulpan Fun Day

Yisrael is finally happy in both school and ulpan – I am so thankful! His ulpan took us on a park outing Tuesday morning that was a lot of fun.

We were greeted by seven teenage camp counselors who did a terrific job entertaining and teaching the eight ulpan kids. They played playground type of games, using only Hebrew and the kids really got into it.

Continue reading Ulpan Fun Day


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