This week I began a 6-week intensive Hebrew course. The class normally costs around $1,500, but is only costing me 100 shekels ($30)! This came as a pleasant shock to me. If you don’t need university credit and you are an Oleh (immigrant), the government subsidizes it for you.
For a kid who could not sit still in grade school, I cannot explain why I love to study Hebrew so much. The class begins at 9:00 AM and ends at 1:20 PM, Sunday through Thursday.
One of the things I love about these courses is I always meet interesting people from all over the world who have come back to Israel to start a new life. I am usually the oldest, as most of them are in master’s programs that require their Hebrew to be at a much higher level. In my class I have students from South Africa, Russia, Ukraine, the US, Uruguay and Argentina.
Gabriel from Uruguay has only been here seven months. He is a 26-year-old dentist living in Ra’anana’s immigration center—similar to an old college dorm. His Hebrew is almost at my level—after only seven months! As an eight-year veteran, still learning, I wanted to kill him! Actually he is a very nice fellow.
On the first day, our class was over 30 people from three levels: 4, 5, and 6, which are called in Hebrew Dalit, Heh and Vav (after the 4th, 5th and 6th letters of the alphabet). On the second day they were going to split the group into two groups and find another teacher. I hoped I would be in the more advanced group and was happy to find out yesterday that I, along with about fifteen others, was moved up. This was based on a placement test, which was very validating.