Holon hospital workers who had no time to learn Hebrew after aliya are taught to read and write

The hospital workers, who have all immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union, have received a crash course in Hebrew while on the job.

By JUDY SIEGEL
January 23, 2017 16:54
ONTARIO HEALTH MINISTER Dr. Eric Hoskins (center) visits Wolfson Medical Center in Holon last week f

ONTARIO HEALTH MINISTER Dr. Eric Hoskins (center) visits Wolfson Medical Center in Holon last week for a close up look at its famed Save a Child’s Heart program.. (photo credit: SACH)

 
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Twenty immigrant women, mostly from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union, who are still illiterate in Hebrew despite working as maintenance workers at Holon’s Wolfson Medical Center are “going back to school” to learn to read and write. During the last few weeks, they have been taught while on the job.

Quickly hired despite their language barrier, they never had time to go to ulpan, the hospital said. But their inability to read and write the language of the country has prevented them from advancing at the hospital and outside it, said hospital director-general Dr. Yitzhak Berlovich.

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“We must help them with what they are lacking. With Hebrew, they will fit much better into Israeli society and the hospital,” he said.

So management decided to open a unique course. After six sessions, they have already begun to learn the Alef-Bet and to how write their names in Hebrew, said Tal Bondi, the hospital’s counseling head. “They are very serious and haven’t missed a single class. We aim to open a more advanced-level class and also to reach more illiterate workers.”

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