Ulpanim in Jerusalem

Ulpanim in Jerusalem
The focus of the ulpanim on the study of Hebrew greatly impacts the successful absorption of olim. Ulpanim differ from language schools. Their purpose are to familiarize olim with the Hebrew language and the culture of the city. Basic proficiency in Hebrew, as taught in the ulpanim, contributes to the oleh's professional and occupational integration, as well as to learning about Israel's social fabric, its geography and history.

Most ulpanim are under joint responsibility of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, the Ministry of Education and the Jewish Agency – sometimes also the Jerusalem Municipality. They operate throughout the year with groups of 20–25 participants.

The curriculum, prepared by the Ministry of Education, includes: reading and writing skills, singing, daily interactions, verbal communication, grammar, reading newspapers, watching television, listening to the radio, marking holidays and historical events, and learning about Israel. The program is about 500 hours.

The ulpanim include ulpan aleph – the most popular course for learning basic Hebrew. Usually, it's an intense course over five days a week for five months. Other options exist. There are various levels, and each oleh is tested for his or her level of Hebrew at the beginning of the course. At the end of the ulpan, there is an examination of the Ministry of Education. Olim are entitled to learn in ulpan aleph without a fee for up to 18 months from their aliyah date.

Continuing ulpan – for olim who completed ulpan aleph and want to improve their Hebrew.
Vocational ulpan – for learning specific professional terminology.

Looking for an Ulpan
The oleh should discuss this prior aliyah with the project director encouraging aliyah, or with a counselor of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption. At the initial meeting with the counselor, the new oleh receives a voucher for the ulpan.

After completing ulpan aleph, the oleh should look into options for the next stage of ulpan. Jerusalem has many choices: Beit Ha'am, Morasha, Community Council ulpanim, and private frameworks.

Jerusalem's great variety of ulpanim is a plus for olim choosing to live in the city. Each ulpan has its target population and unique study methods.

The ulpanim in Jerusalem, and especially the Municipal Beit Ha'am Ulpan, offer support to new olim. Municipal aliyah coordinators, representatives of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, and experts in immigrant rights visit the ulpanim to facilitate services for olim.

Learning Hebrew in an ulpan is the most significant step in absorption. Even in a city like Jerusalem, with its English-friendly communities, without Hebrew – the oleh will have difficulties in integrating in the community and finding employment. With Hebrew, the oleh can participate in the many offerings of this amazing city.

Dear Oleh,
You can choose the ulpan most suited to your needs from the various options. Because in Jerusalem – we personally offer our help for your optimal absorption.

Pini Glinkewitz
Jerusalem Municipal Absorption Authority