Learn Hebrew before you make Aliyah
Are you planning to make Aliyah in the near future? Have you heard that ALL Israelis speak fluent English and that knowing Hebrew is not mandatory for living in Israel?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, we are here to set things straight for you:
If you are planning to make Aliyah you most definitely need to learn Hebrew. Why? Here are some main reasons:
1. People in Israel speak, read and write in Hebrew
While it is true that Israeli kids study English at school, you won’t hear them using it outside of the classroom. Israelis speak Hebrew. They tend to refrain from using foreign languages that they don’t feel comfortable speaking. The people on TV speak Hebrew, the newspapers are printed in Hebrew, the internet is in Hebrew, and the English teachers in the school speak… Well, you get the picture.
2. All services are given in Hebrew
The bank, postal service, health service, your kids’ school – Hebrew is used everywhere as the main language and in many places as the only language. If you want to know your rights and get the best service, you can’t rely on the fact that you will “get by” using other languages. Don’t leave it to luck, learn Hebrew.
3. Hebrew is more than a language
Like all languages, maybe except for those invented by computers, Hebrew is also a strong cultural tie between all of its speakers. Israelis are known to be very friendly, and the base for this behavior is the shared culture which is based on mutual language. Sharing jokes, quoting songs, enjoying a good pun and connecting with people on a high and sophisticated level is dependent on your knowledge in Hebrew. This is totally doable. Ben-Gurion and Golda were not native Hebrew speakers, and they managed to master it. The sooner you start learning it, the faster you will be an Israeli.