אולפן ulpan

A LETTER FROM THE ULPAN STAFF.

We welcome and bless you in joining the ulpan program in Kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon.

In the following pages you will find information which will help you in organizing your coming to Israel.

KIBBUTZ LIFE- WHAT IS KIBBUTZ?

kibbutz means group in Hebrew. it is a modest name for something unique:
A voluntary democratic community where people live and work together
on a non-competitive basis. Its aim is to generate an economically and socially independent society founded on principals of communal ownership of property, social justice, and equality.

However to keep up with the modern times, the Kibbutz in the last few years has made changes in its social, financial, and economic principals.

The first kibbutzim were organized by idealistic young Zionist who came to a land wasted by centuries of neglect. They arrived some 40 years prior to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Their dream was not just to settle there, but to build a new kind of society. Despite many hardships, they succeeded in creating a social system and a way of life which has played a dominant role in the development of the state of Israel; and on the molding of its society. Over the years the kibbutzim have multiplied, prospered, and adapted themselves to changing realities. Today some 270 kibbutzim are scattered throughout Israel.  With a total populas of around 120,000, they represent about 2.8, percent of Israel's population.

KIBBUTZ MISHMAR HASHARON was established in 1924 by a group of eight men and two women that came to Israel from Russia. This group settled at first in the Galilee, to gain experience in cooperative life in the older Kibbutzim. Later they moved, looking  for a place to establish  their own settlement. In the mean time, another group of people from Poland joined them, and they founded Mishmar Hasharon in 1933, in the Sharon Valley.

The Sharon Valley was deserted at that time, flooded with swamps and stricken by malaria. The new settlers dug channels and planted many eucalyptus tress in order to drain the swamps and expose the fertile land underneath.

So they could cultivate it and make a living. After years of struggle and hardship they managed to establish flourishing village that is gradually growing.

WHO LIVES ON KIBBUTZ? Kibbutzim, like any other society, are made up of stereotype of the pioneer idealist who wears a cute blue hat. Others are, if not the pioneers, the children of the pioneers, now grown up and raising families of their own on the Kibbutz. They are called "sabras". or people who were born in Israel.

Many members of Kibbutz are "olim". (immigrants) from foreign countries such as the United States ,Australia, South Africa, West Europe, Russia andEthiopia. Hebrew is not their native language, but they all speak Hebrew, as Hebrew is the primary language spoken in Kibbutz.

In Mishmar Hasharon there are now approximately 400 inhabitants of which 200 are members, 120 are children and about 80 are temporary residents. This number includes members of the first generation of settlers, families that boast four generation of members currently on the Kibbutz. There is a constant stream of ulpan students that study in our community. You will be joining  a tradition of  continuous ulpanim for more than 40 years that have become a permanent fixture of Kibbutz life in Mishmar Hasharon.

The economic base of this community is divided into main branches: Agriculture: that includes extensive citrus and subtropical groves, corn, cotton, sunflowers and a variety of other crops. We also have fish ponds and chicken houses.

Large number of members work off of the kibbutz at various jobs and their income is added to the Kibbutz budget. A large service sector insures that the Kibbutz is highly independent and includes kitchen and dining room staff, our laundry, kinder gardeners, dental and medical clinics etc.

THE ULPAN PROGRAM In Mishmar Hasharon
we have 5 month program (twice a year) and 6 weeks summer program. The program contents and the Ulpan accommodations in the kibbutz are based on a contract between the Jewish Agency and the kibbutz, designed to fit the life style of kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon.

Every week is divided by three days of learning and three days of working in an alternating sequence.

Studies:

The ulpan is a school for the study of Hebrew. the course is 20 weeks long and is intensive. During the course there are also some seminars on the subjects of Judaism, Israel and actuality.

At the end of the course you are expected to pass an examination which entitles you to a certificate from Ministry of education of Israel.

Therefore- concentrate on your studies!

Punctual attendance to class  and lessons are compulsory!!!

Enrichment program is included. Our objective is to familiarize you with the sites and life of past and present day in Israel. We will have daily tours "with our legs and through our eyes ".  We will have some seminars inside and outside of the Kibbutz, that will be aimed at the History and the current events of the Jewish Nation in Israel and the Diaspora.

Work:

Work in the Kibbutz is part of the program.

By working you pay part of your expenses, and also learn about Kibbutz life. you are obligated to a number of working days. ulpan students work 8 hours a day, 3 days a week.

You must be at work on time, properly clothed. your place of work is arranged firstly according to the Kibbutz needs. If possible according to the students request.

Permission to miss work must be obtained from the Ulpan staff.                                              

LIVING ACCOMMADATION; In the Ulpan buildings we have 7-10 rooms. Each room will be shared by 3 people. In every room you will find: beds, linen, blankets and pillows. also a closet, Air conditioner, table and chairs. Every 2-3 rooms have a shower and toilet which are off the rooms but connected.

In the ulpan there is a small club room with T.V ,computer, small coffee bar,refrigerator and relaxation area. It's a place to meet with your friend or to do your homework.

GENERAL SERVICES IN THE KIBBUTZ:

Dining room: The place were members and ulpan student eat lunch.  Lunch is a hot meal based on meat or vegetarian food.

Most of the Kibbutz members arrive to the dining room for lunch only. However for Breakfast and Dinner they eat at work or in their homes. On Friday night we have a special Shabbat dinner which is served to everyone in the dinning room.

Breakfast and supper: The ulpan students eat in the ulpan dining room. These meals you will prepare by your selves. you will buy the food products in the Kibbutz by a daily budget that will provide you with.

LAUNDRY SERVICES: You can gives clothes to the Kibbutz laundry for a fee of 5 Ish per kilo. Your clean laundry will be returned to your personal cubbyhole in the kibbutz laundry place.

MAIL AND TELEPHONE SERVICE: In the ulpan office you will be able to buy stamps and telephone cards. The mail is sent and arrives once a day only. In the ulpan buildings there are two telephones where you can receive  telephone calls from abroad. In order to make out- going calls there is a public telephone in the Kibbutz dining room. This telephone can only be operated with a telephone card. It can be used 24 hours a day. In the Kibbutz office you can get fax machine service.

HEALTH SERVICES; The Kibbutz has a medical clinic

where you can get first aid by  Nurses and Doctor.  In case of more serious health problems you will be directed to the closest hospital.

Health insurance: Tourist- The insurance fee is included in the ulpan program payment. New immigrants:- The insurance is paid by the Israeli Ministry of Absorbtion for the first 6 months.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE PROGRAM? Depending on the season when you arrive: The kinds of clothing you will want to bring may vary a great deal. The following are some guide lines for how you should go about for your stay in Israel.

If you'll be in Israel in the winter, we suggest that you layer your clothing. Bring one or two warm sweaters or sweatshirts. But for the most part you are better off wearing a long sleeved shirt over a T-shirt, rather than bulky sweater. Israel is very hot during the summer but nights can sometimes be chilly.

Keep in mind that Israelis are very casual dressers. For Kibbutz members particularly, a suit and a tie are something they might wear once in their life, if at all.

If you take any prescription medicines, you must bring the entire quantity that you will need during your stay in Israel. Do not assume that prescription can be filled in Israel. Some medicines are not available in Israel. And some are called by a different name.

GENERAL CHECK LIST:

T-shirts

canteen / water bottle

sweater or sweatshirt

sun glasses

hiking boots

working shoes

sun hat

bathing suit

pajamas

alarm clock

shorts

towel

jeans

underwear

sandals

socks

strong sun screen lotion

Israel certainly carries its share of shampoo, soap and deodorants, but if you are inclined to one special brand, you may want to bring it because you may not find it in Israel.

 MONEY:  On your arrival to the Ulpan program, you will be required to leave a deposit of 100 US Dollars. This deposit will be returned to you at the end of the Ulpan, providing that no damages were caused to the Ulpan property.

Israeli currency is in Shekels(N.I.S.).  during the program, you are provided with room and board. The amount of extra money you will need varies greatly depending on your spending habits and the amount of traveling you plan on doing.

There are several options for bringing money to Israel:

Travelers checks- which you cash almost any where.

Notice! Travelers checks cannot be cashed on the kibbutz.

Credit cards – Bank machines are readily accessible in Israel. When you put your credit card In the bank machine, the screen switches to English and money is distributed in Shekels (N.I.S.).  Check with your bank to see if your Credit card can be used overseas.

Please note if your personal identification number is more than 4 digits, it will not work in Israeli credit machines.

Major credit cards such as American express, Master card, and Visa are widely accepted in Israel.

SAFE KIPPING AND ROOM INSURANCE:

it is adivisable to leave your important documents, passport and valuables in the Ulpan safe (in accordance to the insurance terms.)

The Ulpan and the Kibbutz ARE NOT resonsible for loss or thief of money, jewelry and passport if they are not in the safe.

For your attention- lap top, ipod, cameras or any mobile digital equipment are covered by the insurance for a very small amount.

 INTERACTION WITH KIBBUTZ
LIFE AND MEMBERS:

 1- The Kibbutz is home for the Kibbutz members and family.  Please remember and respect this When staying on the Kibbutz. there is a liberal and tolerant way of life on the Kibbutz, but there are certain customs, regulations and rules which may not be immediately apparent or comprehensible to a new comer from another way of life.

We hope that you will come to value the manner of life on Kibbutz.

2- Independence: You are far away from home, some times it is going to be difficult. We expect you to be mature and capable of dealing with any problems arising. The Ulpan director is the authority for all kinds of questions and problem solving. While in Israel she is more likely to give you fast and educated answers than Mom and Dad.

3-. To make friends with the Kibbutz members, you have to remember that it might be the first time for you but not for the Kibbutz members. You have to be open to them in order for them to open up to you. It may take some time…

4- Smoke or Drink: In Israel and in the Kibbutz any kind of Drugs  are against the law. Stay away from it!!!

While an occasional beer in the Kibbutz is allowed, any inappropriate sign of behavior arising from drinking may be cause for immediate dismissal.

5- SAFETY:   Do not go to places that you are not  supposed to .( like the West Bank). If you have questions ask the Ulpan Director.

FREE TIME: The afternoon and evening will be your free time. You will find the Kibbutz very quiet and even boring. The Kibbutz members prefer after their working  day to be at home with their families. If you are looking for some sport activity you will find a basketball, and soccer field, also a swimming pool in the summer.
During your stay on the Kibbutz the Ulpan staff will do their best to bring you closer to our way of life.

In addition, we hope that the Ulpan students will organize- with the help of the Ulpan staff, group activites.

You will be invited to all of the cultural activities which will take place in the Kibbutz during the Ulpan program.

WEEKEND: Shabbat is a free day. You can leave the Kibbutz after work or class on Friday and must be back on Saturday night

The Kibbutz is located very near by to the city NETANYA. In the city you will be able to find many other options of entertainment. such as: Restaurants, Beach, Movie houses, Shopping centers etc.

The public transportation to the city is very easy.

 There is also a shopping center next to the Kibbutz in easy walking distance with a public super market, restaurants, pharmacy, etc

TELEPHONE NUMBERS, FAX and connection with the Kibbutz:

In the Ulpan, telephones where you can receive overseas calls.

  1. 09-8983300 students Rooms
  2. 09-8983164 Ulpan office
  3. 09-8983111 Kibbutz office
  4. 09-8983357 Kibbutz Fax number.

TRANSPORTATION: The public transportation

(Egged) to and from the Kibbutz is very convenient.

The Ulpan staff will guide you in reaching any place in Israel and in returning back "HOME”

ISRAEL–INTRODUCTION; Holy land to three of the worlds major religions, Israel has a great emotional and spiritual effect on every visitor. Some are touched by its magnificent religious shrines; others are impressed by the tenacity of a nation that, against all odds, made the desert bloom.

 Still others by the realization that Israel's story is not so much one of conflict as of cultures in search of dignity and a place they can call home.

Although you could easily drive its length in one day, the journey would take you from the lowest, driest points on earth to a fertile valley within sight of a snow-capped mountain. The residents of the State of Israel are themselves as diverse as the land; although it was established as a Jewish homeland,Israel features Christian, Moslem,   And Jewish holy shrines sitting within blocks or even inches of each other. In fact, there are so many sites of religious importance spread through Israel that the Bible could well be the best guidebook for the nation.

Israel's history is relatively short, but it is of such complexity that no two people are likely to see it the same way; the following summary skims only the surface of issues that have made Israel the focus of intense international attention. The creation of Israel in 1948 was the result of a U. N. plan to partition the British protectorate in Palestine– What is now Israel was designated to be a predominantly Jewish state, and the remaining portion was to be an Arabs nation. Many Arabs refused to accept the division, and armed conflicts occured between Israel and its Arab neighbors in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1982–and 1991 saw a hail of Iraqui missiles defend on Tel Aviv. As a result of the six Day War in 1967, Israel now controls territory on the West Bank of the Jordan River,which previous to the war was Jordanian territory; the state also secured control of the Gaza Strip, a band of desert in the Sinai that once belonged to Egypt; and Israel annexed the strategically important Golan Heights area, which was Syrian. These lands are collectively known as the occupied territories. Many Israelis argue that control of the areas is vital for national survival, while Palestinians protest Israeli settlements and seek autonomy on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. Smoldering Palestinian resentment broke out in the "Intifada", an on-again off-again rebellion that makes visiting many areas dangerous. A massive influx of Jewish Russian immigrants to Israel has added to the nation's social problems. Its sometimes seems that there has been conflict in this land in every age. While strife and violence make their presence felt in modern Israel, so do peace and hope. A promised land to Jews, Israel is also the birthplace of Christ's creed of universal understanding and the place from where Mohammed entered paradise.

WELL… We believe and hope that your visit in Israel during our Ulpan program will be a very enjoyable experience.

Ulpan Staff-Kibbutz Mishmar-Hasharon.