A joint first-time initiative of the World Zionist Organization and the Government Press Office (GPO) is offering a beginners’ Hebrew language course for foreign media correspondents in Israel, to strengthen their connection with Israel, its culture and its language.
The first class, in which 20 reporters and press photographers are learning basic Hebrew, together with additional cultural aspects, opened on Sunday.
The course, led by the GPO in partnership with the World Zionist Organization’s Department for Hebrew and Culture, will last for three months and will provide a toolkit of basic Hebrew skills with the goal of bridging language gaps and, in the process, increasing identification with and deepening understanding of Israel.
Ifat Ovadia Luski, head of the Department of Hebrew and Culture in the World Zionist Organization, said: “Israel’s public diplomacy requires adjustments to the era of multiple channels and media. The media story is often written through small stories that make up the stories of the citizens. Knowing Hebrew will enable balanced coverage and a clear narrative of the story of Israel.”
Nitzan Chen, Director of the GPO, added: “World media networks keep permanent representatives in Israel to cover the newsworthy events in the country. We see that the language gaps sometimes affect journalistic reporting. The project that we are initiating has the power to reduce these gaps, to enable foreign journalists to experience Israeli society and culture without mediators, and thus to indirectly strengthen Israeli public diplomacy in the world.”