Ambassadors from all over the world filled the auditorium at the Sheraton Hotel in Tel Aviv, on June 16th.  They came to participate in a unique "Hebrew Taster and Israeli Culture" event, hosted by the International Hebrew Learning Center, Ulpan-Or, and The Ambassadors' Club of Israel.

This event took place during the "Year of the Hebrew Language", as declared by the Israeli Ministry of Education and at a very special time of the year, specifically – the "Hebrew Book Week".

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Ulpan-Or, the leading Hebrew learning center in Israel, established in 1995, often referred as the "Harvard of the Ulpanim", developed a unique RLA - Rapid Language Acquisition method. This revolutionary method for learning Hebrew online or in-person, was developed by Ulpan-Or founders, Yoel and Orly Ganor. 

RLA allows students to learn Hebrew “at the speed of light”, while consequently UlpanOrmaking the ancient language of Hebrew come alive through the understanding of Israeli culture.

Using the RLA method people are able to start speaking Hebrew in a matter of hours.

The purpose of the event was to gather together the foreign ambassadors in Israel, provide them with an enjoyable experience learning basic useful Hebrew expressions, and to give them a taste of the local culture.

This Hebrew taster and Israeli cultural event was extremely beneficial, most of the  ambassadors  in Israel speak only their mother tongue and English.

According to Mr. Yitzhak Eldan, founder of The Ambassadors’ Club of Israel, “ambassadors should make an effort to learn the local language, because through the Hebrew language they can better understand Israeli culture.” 

The Ambassadors' Club of Israel (ACI) is an independent, non-profit organization, which aims to provide Heads of Foreign Diplomatic missions in Israel with a forum, where they can meet in an informal atmosphere with Honorary Consuls who represent more than 100 countries, as well as with leading Israeli figures from various sectors in society.

As the night unfolded, Ulpan-Or sent the ambassadors off to an hour-long Hebrew workshop.  The majority of the participants showed fast learning skills, learning essential Hebrew expressions, allowing them to get oriented in Israel in Hebrew. 

After everyone re-grouped, the ambassadors, their family members, and the staff were divided into four groups, where each group alternated between stations.  In each station, basic Hebrew words and phrases for daily situations were introduced.

Through the professional guidance of Ulpan-Or teachers, the ambassadors mastered short dialogues, as well as learned to read Hebrew words.  There was a nice, relaxed and colorful ambiance between the ambassadors, each originating from a different country.  There was laughter, Hebrew learning, and most of all the collaboration and the genuine will to get to know each other better was apparent.

Ambassador Tesfemariam Tekeste, from the embassy of Eritrea, described the Hebrew learning experience as enjoyable, and thought the simple approach was excellent.  "It was a very amusing evening; I don't know a lot of Hebrew and find this method very dynamic." 
"It was very nice to be with my colleagues and converse with them in Hebrew", said Ambassador Maria Elisa Berenguer, from Brazil.  

To Ulpan-Or founders, Orly and Yoel Ganor, it was wonderful to hear these UlpanOrreactions because "We live in a small area, however Israel is a leading player in many fields. As it often happens in Israel, many parents, being new immigrants, actually learn their mother tongue - Hebrew from their children."

Yoel told the ambassadors: "We want to share our language with you. It will make you to feel at home in Israel. Modern Hebrew language makes the connection between ancient times and historical events with current vibrant and dynamic life in Israel."

The last part of the event entailed the participants presenting to the guests a short example of what they had just learned. The ambassadors "did their act" with great success, smiles and grace.  The evening came to a close with Ambassador Eldan teaching everyone a Hebrew song. 

The ambassadors and their staff joined in song, and as they were leaving they were given a conversational manual, containing all the words that they learned, in order for them to continue practicing and using Hebrew in their professional and social life.

"BEHATZLAKHA"! – Good Luck!

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