Moving to Israel? Make sure you Stick Around.

To ulpan or not to ulpan? It’s up to you, but it doesn’t have to end when you leave the musty, dingy premises of the classroom…

Take ulpan home with you with Stick Around.

The story behind Stick Around goes something like this:

“Aaaahhh!!!” my wife yelled, and even though it’s not a word, I could easily understand that she was yelling in English. As a new immigrant she was loving life in Israel, but there was one huge frustrating obstacle: Hebrew.

It’s a rite of passage for olim: the language barrier, climbing over the language barrier, falling backwards behind the language barrier, and so on. We have good days, bad days, and oh-my-god-I’m-tired-of-sounding-crazy days.

So this gingy huz-wife team took their own experience and turned it into a product: Stick Around. For thirty bucks, they’re a set of over 500 Hebrew vocabulary stickers to stick around your house on relevant objects to slowly osmosis your way to recognizable Hebrew skills. And that way… you’ll more likely stick. around.

Good luck – b-hatz-la-cha – בהצלחה

There’s a sabra living in my house.

First of all, today, for the first time, my kid בא נראה’d me.

Secondly, OMG *this* just happened.

The scene: Bebe is finished with her cottage cheese and I offer Koala the rest.

Me: want to finish Bebe’s cheese?

Koala: yes, I want this.

<takes a bite>

Koala: cottage!

Me: yep, it’s Bebe’s cheese.

Koala: cottage. eating Bebe’s cottage.

Me: exactly. is it good cheese?

<he steps up to me, gets in my face, and says…>

Koala: cottage b’ivrit.

The history of Israeli pretzels.

A short history of flat, flavoured pretzels (bagele) in Israel… true story!

If you don’t understand Hebrew subtitles or (exaggerated?) Yiddish, here’s a quick and dirty transcript:

The Bagel-Bagel Factory in Poland, 1880

Son: “Father,  mother – I  have an idea! Thin pretzels – in flavours!”

Everyone: “What?!”

Son: “Yes, with pepper, chedder, spices!”

Father: “Pepper?! This is for Moroccans!”

Mother: “Flavor? In food? We’re POLISH!”

Father: “My dear, when the little Ben Gurion becomes Prime Minister of Eretz Yisroel [notice the kid in the corner], then we’ll make pretzels with flavours…”

The snail and the sleepyhead.

The latest word I have learned from my son: חילזון. Snail.

In their ‘autumn curriculum’ they’ve been teaching about the usual Israeli fall topics: rain… clouds… raindrops… leaves… rain… and snails (?!).

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a snail here in Israel.

Anyway, the teachers have been getting a kick out of my son because apparently he’s really taken to the חילזון lessons. Pointing his little fingers out of his head. Crawling on his  belly. When the gananet asked a question to the group – “What’s something we see in the סתו?” – he immediately answered, “chilazon!”

It’s all well-and-good. But what’s unfortunately lost on my lil 2.5-year-old nature enthusiast is the fact that at night, after we’ve put him to bed, and I’ve sat near him for 30-50 minutes waiting for him to fall asleep lest he cry out for me in fear, I end up crawling across the floor of his bedroom, creeping slowly slowly, quietly and steadily,

just… like… a… snail.

Learn Hebrew online for free, visit your Israeli grandchildren.

If Learn to read in Hebrew for free wasn’t enough for you, here’s something better…

Struggling to learn even minimal Hebrew to get by on a visit to Israel? Or even just to get past security at the airport?

Saw this posted on Facebook, had to share: Learn Hebrew phrases with Audio

It’s a free website with study sheets, videos, and ‘flashcards’ with phrases written in Hebrew with vowels, transliterated in English, and English meanings.

It’s a Jacob Richman creation, and here’s more about it from the creator himself:

It has been my goal to create a site that would help you learn Hebrew phrases and sentences easily. There are 54 topics with 1,211 Hebrew phrases and sentences. In addition to the online audio flash, the site includes 152 printable study sheets.

Could be really helpful for the newly-inducted Anglo grandparents of Israeli grandchildren! Hint, hint.

Fadichot leaking all over the place.

Every other week or so when I pick up Koala from his gan, his ganenet passes me the pants I dressed him in that day and I look down and see him wearing the poofy red replacement pants we keep there.

Always with the same explanation: “He leaked again so we changed him…”

I guess I figured his diaper wasn’t changed enough or he was getting water all over himself. At least, it always sounded that way.

Today, my husband went to pick him up and got the same story. Only, he actually understood what the ganenet had been trying to tell me for months:

His pants are too big and fall down his legs.

She said: “Nozel lo.” I heard: “He leaks.” But apparently, she was being poetic and saying that his pants are sliding down his legs because they’re too big.

And I kept sending him in them every week.

Why didn’t she ever tell me they were gadol midai???

Immigrant parenting fail: 2840635 Me: 0.

Immigrant parenting fail.

Ok, maybe I don’t exactly fail yet. But I’m headed in that direction.

I attended an event tonight for the ‘gan mothers’ for which I had to push myself to go, and, not surprisingly, a room full of women + socializing + not knowing anyone + doing it in Hebrew is a mess of a combination.

And I’m totally freaked out. I want to be strong for my kid(s). I want to speak up for them. I want to give them the kind of sticking-up-for that was given to me.

I don’t want to be speechless or tongue-tied.

Currently, I don’t know how to do that.

I don’t think I’m cut out for this in English. I’m definitely not cut out for it in Hebrew. Not without a lot of work. How much is enough?