Ken Toltz
Israel-based writer

Aliyah Success!

Salvidor Dali 1966 Graphic Celebration of Aliyah

Learning to Speak Hebrew is One Key

As the sun sets on March 31st, a feeling of excitement spreads throughout Israel. The Israeli people are getting ready to celebrate Yom HaAliyah, the national holiday that honors new immigrants. It’s a day to recognize the brave souls who have left behind their homes, family members, lifelong friends and sometimes even their native languages to make a new life in Israel.

But this isn’t just any immigration story. Immigrating to Israel means becoming an Oleh or Olah (female), the Hebrew word for ascending to a higher level of spirituality. From the moment you step off the plane at Ben Gurion Airport, you become an Oleh Hadash, a new immigrant to the Holy Land, and it feels like you’re one step closer to God.

And then there’s the language. Hebrew is not just a modern conversational language, it’s a language with thousands of years of history and religious significance. It’s the same language used in ancient biblical texts, and it’s the language everyone agrees to use in Israel. So when you speak Hebrew, you’re not just communicating with your fellow citizens, you’re tapping into a deep, ancient tradition.

Many professionals in the field and longtime experts agree that the ability to speak Hebrew is crucial for a successful Aliyah. Not only does it help you navigate day-to-day life, but it also allows you to connect with the Israeli population on a deeper level. Whether it’s bonding with new friends and coworkers over a shared love of hummus or making new friends at a local bar, speaking Hebrew opens doors to experiences and connections that might otherwise be closed off.

Imagine this: You’re a fresh Oleh Hadash, determined to make the most of your new life in Israel. You want to learn conversational Hebrew and immerse yourself in the local culture, but it’s proving to be a challenge. You’ve tried Ulpans and Hebrew tutors, but nothing seems to stick.

That is until you stumble upon Revital Zacherie’s Ivrit Club. It’s a game-changer. Not only is Revital an expert Hebrew teacher, but she’s also a licensed tour guide who knows Israel like the back of her hand. Her philosophy is simple: the best way to learn a language is to speak it.

So, you sign up for the Summer Hebrew Expedition, a two-week program that combines a Hebrew course with a tour of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Each day, you meet with a small group of classmates who are at a similar level of Hebrew speaking skills, and together you explore a new spot in the city or countryside. The catch? All conversation and tour guiding are done in Hebrew!

Revital Zacharie Leads Ivrit Club Tour

At first, you’re nervous. Can you really keep up with the conversation in Hebrew? Will you understand everything Revital says? But as you start exploring Tel Aviv’s bustling markets and Jerusalem’s ancient streets, you realize that you’re not just learning Hebrew, you’re experiencing Israel in a whole new way.

You chat with locals at a coffee shop, haggle for souvenirs at a market, and navigate the winding alleys of Jerusalem’s Old City. And all the while, Revital is there to guide you, correct your Hebrew, and share her deep knowledge of Israel’s history and culture.

By the end of the two weeks, you feel like a different person. You’re more confident in your Hebrew, of course, but you’re also more connected to Israel and its people. You’ve made new friends, tasted new foods, and seen parts of the country that you never knew existed.

In short, the Summer Hebrew Expedition with Revital Zacharie’s Ivrit Club has changed your life. And you can’t wait to continue exploring Israel, one conversation at a time.

Revital Zacharie Ivrit Club Tour Leader and Hebrew Teacher

Yom HaAliyah is not just about language and tradition, it’s a day to celebrate the contributions of new immigrants to Israel’s success as a first-world country. From the early Zionist movement to the present day, these brave individuals have played a critical role in building a vibrant, diverse, and thriving society. And on this day, the entire country comes together to honor their courage and sacrifice.

So as the sun sets on March 31st and rises again on April 1st, let us all take a moment to reflect on the incredible journey of the Olim Hadashim. Let us celebrate their achievements, their resilience, and their unwavering commitment to building a better future for themselves, their families, and their adopted homeland. L’chaim!

About the Author
Ken Toltz began his professional career at AIPAC in Washington, D.C. after attending Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He's a 3rd generation Colorado native, businessman and long-time gun violence prevention activist. After 42 years from his first visit to Israel, in 2019 he relocated his home to Mitzpe Ramon in Israel's Negev. Ken currently resides in Herzliya. He writes about Israeli politics, relations with the U.S. and the Israeli creative class of writers and filmmakers.
Related Topics
Related Posts