Friday, June 17, 2011

Shalom Lekulam!

I hope you are all fighting fit and that your plans for the summer are going well. As far as for my (our) plans go, I think we started to make our plans a little bit later than we should have. Last year all the family, (around 20 in total), went on holiday together and we wanted to do the same thing this year. Having called many resorts all over Israel, I have come to the conclusion that we maybe should have started planning right after Pessach (Mid April)… I really hope that we will find a big enough place and be able to go on holiday together.
This week at Ulpan was one big “déja vu”. It took me back to 2 years ago when we opened Ulpan Aviv’s (first) branch in Jerusalem. Electricians, furniture suppliers, carpenters, dust everywhere, and of course, a lot of work and suspense. We will be opening doors for the first time on Sunday morning to our very first students who learn Hebrew with us here in Tel Aviv. To start off there will be two teachers, and then when things get going we will of course need more. I will be teaching full time at the Tel Aviv branch with the other teacher, Sarai Pentzak. Yes, you are right, that name does sound familiar. Sarai is in fact is my younger sister. Our mother is an Ulpan teacher and so it doesn’t come as a great surprise that, (as we say in Hebrew), 2 of the apples did not fall very far away from the tree.
I am sure that teaching Hebrew in Tel Aviv will be a different experience from teaching it in Jerusalem and as anyone who knows anything about the two cities knows, they are very different, almost unrecognizable as sisters. The two cities are a great representation of the Hebrew language which has on one hand strong roots in the history of our nation, (all the way to the biblical era), but on the other hand has been and is going through such great changes to adapt itself to modern day culture. Teaching and learning in the two cities is bound to be different but the same. I guess it is hard to explain really…...
In any case, wish you all שבת שלום , and hoping to see you here soon!
Gil Pentzak, Ulpan Aviv- director

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