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.
I started the adventure by taking a bus to Givat Shaul because I needed to pick up a SIM card at Talk N Save for Yisrael’s cell phone.
Michael decided that he might want to attend ulpan Morasha because it is highly recommended and starts tomorrow, which gives him an opportunity to check it out and switch to the French Hill ulpan if Morasha is too advanced for him.
I took a taxi using the address on the list provided to us by Misrad HaKlita (Ministry of Immigrant Absorption) to determine where it is and what buses go near it (couldn’t get an answer from Egged – their lines are always busy or computers are down, and I can’t navigate the Hebrew part of their website, and the English one doesn’t provide Jerusalem neighborhood info). The address was wrong, it is not located at 23 Shvtei Israel – that is a gated and locked building!
23 Shvtei Israel – NOT Ulpan Morasha
So I called the number on the list and the person didn’t speak English but gave me the number of a woman who did. She had me walk down another block past a small market and turn left down a flight of stairs to building #22.
There is a stop there for buses # 1, 3, 5 Alef, 50 and 163. Michael actually got through to Egged to ask what time those buses leave the Central Bus Station and they also told him that the 120 from Ma’aleh Adumim drops off nearby – but they couldn’t tell him how to get from the 120 stop to #22 Shvtei Israel (it’s not in their script).
Here’s the 1, 3, 5 Alef, 50 and 163 bus stop, the market is on the other side by the truck.
At that bus stop turn away from the market and walk a short distance until you reach a green gate that says The Social Gallery on your left – go through it and down the stairs.
September 7th Update: Michael finds that coming from Ma’aleh Adumim it is more convenient to take the 120 bus that comes to the corner of Ha’Gay and HaMetzadim between 6:50 and 7:05 a.m. Here are the directions:
- Take the 120 bus to Yerushalayim to the end of it’s run at the City Center on Yaffo.
- Get off the bus and walk back down to City Hall on the same side of the street.
- Don’t cross the street toward this sign!
- Go this way – pass through the City Hall complex
This fountain has to be on your right
- Walk across this courtyard past the fountain and enter the archways to the right
- Follow the path straight through the archways.
Pass this synagogue sign.
- Go down the steps that are in front of you at the end of the archway path.
- You will see the Elisha and Shvtei Israel intersection sign.
Cross Shvtei Israel and head up it to your left.
- After turning left onto Shvtei Israel here’s what you should see…
Walk under this sign
Past a great Falafel place
Ma’aleh School of Television, Film and the Arts
And this sign
- Just after you see the Ma’aleh school building, turn right at The Social Gallery green gate
- Go down the stairs and turn right into the building – here’s the entrance.
- Walk through the doors, turn left and follow the corridor to the end and go up the stairs to the 2nd floor. The first door on your right is the restroom, the next door with the signage on it is the office. The Beginner’s Alef classroom is directly across from the office.
It seemed pretty easy to get to and is in a nice setting. There’s also a great Falafel place up the street where I enjoyed a late lunch.
Michael is going to Morasha tomorrow morning to check it out and it looks like I will have to miss out on taking ulpan because we can’t have one here in Ma’aleh Adumim (as we were led to believe – until yesterday).
For more information:
Morasha Community Center (near Kikar Safra/City Hall)
22 Rehov Shvtei Yisrael
Tamara 02-535-3763 (speaks English)
Ulpan’s number: 02-628-1032 and 02-571-3393
Sunday through Thursday 8 am – 12:45 pm
Okay, on to French Hill…