Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shalom Lekulam! Ma Nishma?

It’s official! Summer has finally arrived. Tuesday was the first day of the summer break in Israel (apart from elementary schools and kindergartens), and I assume for many other places in the world too. Over the past month there has a big effort here to shorten the summer vacation by 7-10 days, meaning that students would be going back to school around the 23rd August. Most parents, including myself, were not too happy about the last minute notice as the vast majority of us have already made all our plans for the summer and this proposal would have had a big impact on them. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with my beloved ‘littlies’ going back to school a bit sooner, (nor does my dear wife who has to keep them occupied and out of trouble all summer!). We will be happy to support the decision next year…
This past week has been ‘SHVUA HASEFER’ ("Book Week") both in Israel and also in our Ulpan. It is one week in the year that reminds us all of the importance of literacy, of reading books and printed material and not just watching the television and listening to talkbacks on the web. I personally think that 2 weeks would be more appropriate, considering the poor literacy levels that are currently found in the teenage and adult population both in Israel and world-wide.
This week was also our first official week in our new branch in Tel Aviv. As I have already told you, I was "exiled" from the main branch in Jerusalem and sent off to spread Ulpan Aviv’s "Torah" here, in the wild city ☺! It has been a very intensive week with our first students arriving to study with us. Needless to say how much I’ve enjoyed it!
I wanted to finish this week’s blog by letting you all know that OUR NEW WEBSITE HAS FINALLY BEEN LAUNCHED! A lot of work and effort has been put in to it and I would like to thank everyone involved, especially Tamara Mann, our friend and student who was worked hard to adapt my Israeli English…
Take a look at the new website ( and feel free to send me any comments that you may have. (Compliments are also always welcome! ☺ )

Wish you all שבת שלום , and hoping to see you soon!
Gil Pentzak, Ulpan Aviv- director

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