Imagine... Find Out Inside

Document Sample
Imagine... Find Out Inside Powered By Docstoc
					       Analytic Mind
     Israel’s universities rank amongst the best in the
world. High academic standards combine with access
       to excellent professors and independent study.

        Star of David
     University schedules follow Jewish holidays.
    No such thing as an exam on Rosh HaShana.
                                                              Study                                 In Israel
          For frequent stops in the
                                                                       Haifa University
    ubiquitous cafes with free WiFi.

                                                                          Imagine studying in a highly acclaimed academic institution where there are no classes or exams
            Extensive library network, and                                on Jewish holidays and everyone around you is in tune with preparing for the Seder or light-
           much reading material in English.                              ing Hanukah candles …..
                                                                          Imagine choosing from a vast range of academic subjects or even studying in English, while wak-
                                                                          ing up each morning in Israel….
                                                                          Imagine a country that wants you to come and study so much that they will assist you with
                                                                          your university tuition…..
                                                                          Imagine learning Hebrew well enough to study and to socialize and meeting your life partner
                                                                          from among thousands of Jewish students between the campus library bookshelves or while

                                                                          sitting on the grass in brilliant sunshine…
                                                                          For thousands this has become reality. Over 150,000 students from all over the world have
                                                                          studied in Israel, nearly fifty South Africans joined last year. They study at one of Israel’s eight

            Shoes                                                         Universities or numerous Academic Colleges, with many choosing Jerusalem’s Hebrew Univer-
                                                                          sity or the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.
                                                                          A recent arrival shared her thoughts:
          Walking the campus and the city
                   streets is easy and safe.                              “My name is Dafna Admony. I am a new immigrant from Johannesburg, South Africa, and studying for
                                                                          a Masters in Medical Sciences at Tel-Aviv University.
                                                                          “I made my way to Israel in September 2007. My year here has been filled with both good and hard
                                                                          times, but it was all well worth it! I am now happily settled and have made a wonderful circle of friends.
                                                                          I work at the Sourasky Medical Centre in Tel Aviv, and am nearly fluent in Hebrew!! I was recently asked
                                                                          if I miss my home country. I responded: “Yes, and my family, but I could never live in South Africa any-

  ? ? ? ???
                                                                          more.” Israel has a charm, it is magical. It is more than just a home to our nation. I advise all Jewish
                                                                          youth in South Africa to seriously consider Aliyah and make use of all organized youth tours to Israel. I
                                                                          am looking forward to my studies this year and to meeting more incredible people.”


?? ? ?
                                                                          There are many ways of gaining an academic degree and many wonderful places around the

                                                  How                     world, but there is only one place where you can discover your Jewish roots while gaining pro-
                                                                          fessional qualification and building yourself a future!

                                                          Financial       Don’t be daunted by the obstacles. Everything worthwhile has its challenges, but you grow so

                                                                          much in the process.

                                                          Assistance      Whatever your field of interest, whether you just completed your Matric with university exemption,

                                                                          or an undergraduate degree, Israel and her institutions of higher education have a lot to offer
                                                                          you. It is a place you can truly call home. v

                                                                          By Naomi Shmuel from the Israel Student Authority.

  Find Out Inside                                                                                                    Ministry of
                                                                               Israel Student Authority              Absorption                                                        
                                                                                                                                                                      College of
                                                                                                                                                                       Tel Aviv


           View from Mt. Scopus Campus, Hebrew University
                                                                                The Student Authority
                                                                                The Student Authority is a partnership between the Jewish Agency and the Ministry
                                                                                of Immigrant Absorption. It helps immigrant students in Israel by providing tuition
                                                                                grants, social and cultural events, excursions, seminars, individual and group guidance,
                                                                                and counselling on academic issues.
                                                                                For more details:, (972) 2 621-4589;
                                                                                For all academic options in Israel:

                                                                                Israel Centre
                                                                                The Israel Centre of South Africa is a crucial link between the local community and
                                                                                Israel. We provide assistance and information to individuals and families wishing to
                                                                                fulfil the dream of Aliyah. The Israel Centre also offers a wide range of Zionist and
                                                                                Jewish-identity programmes.
                                                                                Johannesburg: (011) 645-2530;

            The Israeli System of                                               Cape Town: (021) 464-6700;

             Higher Education
    The Higher Education system offers a range of options including:            The Global Centre
                                                                                The Jewish Agency Global Centre offers people from around the world the most com-
    Academic Degrees:                                                           prehensive information service on a wide range of Israel-related topics. Operating 24
                                                                                hours a day, six days a week (excluding the Sabbath) Global Center representatives
    • Universities
                                                                                are waiting to hear from you.
    • Academic Colleges
                                                                                Call toll-free: (0) 800-996-886
    • Higher Education and Academic Institutions
    • Teachers Colleges

                                                                                    Useful Contacts
    • Engineering Colleges

    • Technical Colleges
    • Art Institutes
    • Schools for Health Professions

    Important facts:
    • Academic degrees from Universities and the other
    academic institutions are of equal value and are all
    recognized worldwide.
    • All institutions require completions of Matric with
    • Most universities require holders of Matric with
    Exemption to complete Mechina, as part of the conditions
    of acceptance.
    • There is a vast variety of study options in Israel – there is
    a place for everyone!!

                                                                       Between Classes, Tel Aviv University

       This newspaper contains the experiences of student
          immigrants in Israel, along with facts and
      information compiled by the Academic Department                                              “Study in Israel, 2009” Editorial Board:
                of the Israel Student Authority.                                                           Orit Mor-Sela, Naomi Shmuel,
                                                                                                           Barbara Meltz-Kahn, Ofer Dahan, Becky Rowe
                                                                                                   Design and Interviews: Becky Rowe

                       By Plan or By Proxy
O        ccasionally, the course of life
         marches on according to plan,
         while other times, it takes an
unexpected turn. For Revi Chadowitz,
her trajectory was unswerving. “My
                                             line-up of free music events, lectures,
                                             dances, parties, etc. Revital dances salsa
                                             at least once a week, and is organizing
                                             a “stitch and bitch” (an international
                                             knitting/crochet) group in her dorms.
                                                                                          over heels, Elizabeth stayed on the
                                                                                          kibbutz for an extra year where she
                                                                                          worked in the date orchards and lived
                                                                                          with Yura, her betrothed. Far from
                                                                                          the Glasgow drizzle, the marriage
                                                                                                                                    kibbutz swimming pool with the red
                                                                                                                                    mountains of Edom as a backdrop.
                                                                                                                                      Heading to Haifa, where her husband
                                                                                                                                   studies Mechanical Engineering at the
                                                                                                                                                                                      In the English Literature Department,
                                                                                                                                                                                   there are students from Europe, North
                                                                                                                                                                                   America, Israel and South America.
                                                                                                                                                                                   “I’ve found my professors to be very
                                                                                                                                                                                   forthcoming and helpful, and although
                                                                                                                                   Technion, Elizabeth began her academic
family moved from Israel to the US             Her double major of Psychology             ceremony was held next to the            career in the topic she had always              much of our work is writing, some
when I was ten; the minute we left, I        and English Literature expose her                                                                   planned to pursue—                students have begun studying together
told my parents I was going back to          to two different kinds of learning                                                                  English Literature. The           for exams. Compared to the kibbutz,
Israel. At age 16, they saw I wasn’t         experiences. “Psychology is the                                                                     newlyweds reside in the           Haifa is a pretty happening place. I
kidding.”                                                                                                                                        married students dorms            love the fact that I can get around so
                                                                                                                                                                                   easily without a car, and the low-key
    At 18, Revital joined Garin Tzabar,          Two young women pursue a quality                                                                on the Technion Campus.
                                                                                                                                                                                   cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city.”
an army unit comprised of children                                                                                                               Although more involved
of Israelis who live abroad. After her      education and a fulfilling social life in their                                                      with each other than                 Whereas the young couple are both
discharge, she headed south to begin                   undergraduate years.                                                                      with student life, Elizabeth      students, and manage on a limited
studies at Ben Gurion University in                                                                                                              finds the atmosphere at           budget, “we thoroughly enjoy the
Beer Sheva. “I knew that was where I         most “stressed out” department.                                                                     Haifa University amicable         street cafes and the gorgeous views.”
wanted to study. All the universities        There are 270 students in my year.                                                                  and interesting. “Both            Elizabeth admits that she filled their
in Israel are academically excellent, but    It is very competitive, yet there are                                                               in the city and in the            flat with the copies of the literary
Ben Gurion is known for its campus           always groups of students studying                                                                  university, there is quite        classics and all she really needs is a
life. It is run by students—for students;    together. I have a permanent study                                                                  an interesting mix of             cozy chair.
and the city has evolved into a uni-         partner, and the Department                                                                         people. Walking through
versity town.” The extremely active          has two active websites. English                                                                    the corridor, one can               Whether by plan or by proxy, under-
student union organizes a regular            Literature, on the other hand,                                                                      easily hear four or five          graduate studies in Israeli universities
                                             is small, with about 25 students                                                                    languages being spoken            are proving challenging and fulfilling
                                             in my year. There are Canadians,                                           Elizabeth with her within the span of a few                for both Revital and Elizabeth. v
                                             Americans and Israelis including a                                          husband at the          steps. ”
    Revital (left) with friends              fair share of Bedouins. It is more                                                beach.
           on campus.                        intimate and more relaxed.”

                                                Elizabeth Shafir, originally from

                                                                                                       Regional Colleges
                                             Glasgow, is also studying for her
                                             Bachelors in English literature – at
        At the weekly Salsa
                                             Haifa University. Her route however,
               Dance                         was circuitous and unexpected. After
                                             completing her exams at a prestigious

                                             British private school, Elizabeth, who
                                             had already been accepted to university                                                                eri Gershoni looks around        thought of coming all the way up
                                             in the UK, decided to take a gap year.                                                                 her, and can’t imagine stud-     here to study, but by chance I met
                                             “I had been to Israel quite a few times                                                                ying anywhere else. Nestled      someone who suggested I come
             At a campus-                    on family holidays, and I liked it, so I                                                     in the Galilee panhandle between           for the Open Day. I fell in love with
              wide Purim                     thought it would be a good place to                                                          the Golan and Naftali mountain             the place. It is so welcoming and so

                 party                       take time off.” Elizabeth signed up                                                          ranges, the Tel Hai Academic Col-          beautiful.”
                                             for an ulpan on Kibbutz Yotvata near                                                         lege is green in every sense of the           Peri came to Israel after grad-
                                             Eilat. Under the desert sun, her plans                                                       word. The college is surrounded by         uating from King David Linkfield
                                             underwent a remodelling.                                                                     the greens of comfortably estab-           High School to do a kibbutz ulpan.

                                                                                                                                          lished kibbutz gardens, old oak            I always knew more or less what I
                                               “Within weeks, I met the man who
                                                                                                                                          groves and newly forested slopes.
                                             was to become my husband.” Head
                                                                                                                                          The green of environmentalism
                At Movie-                                                                                                                 is tangible in the vibrant student
                                                                                                                                                                                   “Green, as in ‘new’ also defines
               on-the-Lawn                                                                                                                                                                   the school.”

                                                                                                     of her
                                                                                                                                          activism and the academic special-
                  Night.                                                                                                                  ties of environmental sciences and
                                                                                                                                          technologies. Green, as in ‘new’, also     wanted to study, although I hadn’t
                                                                                                                                          defines the school.                        really thought about where. While

     Undergraduate                                                                                    Own
                                                                                                                                             In the late 1980s, the Israel gov-      on ulpan, I asked my Hebrew
                                                                                                                                          ernment mandated the expansion             teacher if she thought I could study
                                                                                                                                          of the Regional College Network,           in Hebrew. When she gave me the
                                                                                                                                          affiliating each new college with          go ahead, I figured I would stay in
                                                                                                                                          an accredited university. Although         Israel.”
                                                                                                                                          focusing on a more limited curric-            No mean feat, Peri began her
                                                                                                                                          ulum than that of the universities,        freshman year with a course load
                                                                                                                                          these colleges often have quite high       that included organic chemistry,
                                                                                                                                                            academic stand-          biology, physics, calculus, botany and
                                                                                                                                                            ards. They attract       statistics – in Hebrew. “I worked
                                                                                                                                                            qualified students       really hard, but all my professors
                                                                                                                                                            who enjoy the            were accommodating, I found books
                                                                                                                                                            range of locations       in English, my tests were translated
                                                                                                                                                            and the intimacy of      into English and I managed quite
                                                                                                                                                            a smaller campus,        well.” Renting an apartment with
                                                                                                                                                            while demanding          three friends from school on a
                                                                                                                                                            educational excel-       nearby kibbutz, Peri says, “I am chal-
                                                                                                                                                            lence.                   lenged in my studies, I have made
                                                                                                                                                               Peri, is in her       wonderful new friends, I am inde-
                                                                                                                                                            second year of           pendent and happy. This was the
                                                                                                                                                            her BSc in Nutri-        best decision I ever made.”
                                                                                                                     Tel Hai College:                       tional Science. “I
                                                                                                                     Studying on the                        never would have
                                                                                                                          grass.                                                                 continued on next page

                                                                                                                       Specializing in Art
                                                                                 Art studies are offered through a number of tracks in various types of institutions:
                                                                                 • Academic study tracks in Universities, Colleges, Academic Institutions
    A Place of Her Own, cont.
                                                                                 • Teaching Degrees (BeD) specializing in art at Academic Teachers Colleges.
                              k                                                  • Diploma of Practical Engineer through Engineering Colleges in subjects such as photography, graphic design, industrial design, etc.
       Twenty-year-old Raizy Davidowitz chose to study                           • Certificate tracks in Art Schools that offer specialization in one or more disciplines, for example, art and theater schools, music
    at Hadassah College in Jerusalem where she lives                               schools, and more. Studies in these schools emphasize development of personal skills and abilities. Art Schools generally give certif-
    in the heterogeneous, utterly quirky, urban neigh-                             icates recognized for professional purposes, but they are not academic degrees. Studies are generally between two to four years.
    bourhood of Nahlaot. While on the Bnei Akiva MTA
    programme, Raizy decided that she wanted to live in
    Israel. “I love Jerusalem – its spirituality, its physical
    beauty, its unexpected mix of humanity.There is noth-
    ing like taking walks in Jerusalem: I always discover                 Larry Brandt and his violin.
    new neighbourhoods, alleyways and shops. In South
    Africa, I felt trapped in my own house. Stepping out                                                                                  cians play here on a regular basis,       any of them, and was told that Bezalel
    for a relaxing stroll was not even an option.”                                                                                        and we have the privilege of tak-         Art Academy was the most prestigious,
       Although interested in studying Optometry, Raizy                                                                                   ing master classes with some of the       so I patted myself on the back at hav-
    had not even known about Hadassah College. “It was                                                                                    best – among them Vadim Repin,            ing been accepted, and registered in the
    at the suggestion of a friend that I looked into the                                                                                  Pinchas Zuckerman and Zakhar              Department of Film, Video and New
    programme. It offered a relatively small school in the                                                                                Bron.”                                    Media. The first week of school, I was
    city centre with a good Optometry Department. ”                                                                                          Although studying in Hebrew            petrified; I nodded and smiled a lot, with
                                                                                                                                          was difficult at the beginning, it        only a vague idea of what was going on.”
       “The classes are relatively small. We have a coun-
                                                                                                                                          soon became a non-issue.” The lan-        Yet despite a course load which included
    sellor who kind of checks to see that we are alright.
                                                                                                                                          guage of music, however, proved a         scriptwriting, editing, photography and
    I feel like I may have been lost in a huge university
                                                                                                                                          trifle more troubling to overcome.        art history, Talya, by the second semes-
    setting. Although some students study together, being
                                                                                                                                          “I had learned and internalized           ter, was writing her papers in Hebrew.
    downtown in a large city, the College is primarily
                                                                                                                                          the musical notes – A, B, C, etc.         “You soon understand everything with-
    a place to study. At least for me.” Raizy shares an
                                                                                                                                                     since the age of four.         out even realizing it has happened.” Now
    apartment with two friends from home, so she has a
                                                                                                                                                                                    in her third year,Talya enjoys the combi-

    bit of South Africa and a lot of Jerusalem, which suits                                                                                          In Israel, as in Europe,
                                                                                                                                                     they use terminology           nation of the “hands-on and artsy.”
    her just fine. v
                                                                                                                                                     called solfege – Do, Re,           Just as her initial immersion into
                                                                                                                                                     Mi,… Now, that transla-        studies was scary, so was her sudden
                                                                                                                                                     tion took some getting         independence – preparing food, paying

                                                                                                                                                     used to.”                      bills, doing laundry. “For my first two
                                                                                                                                                          Completing his first      years, I lived in the dorms, which is rel-
                                                                                                                                                       degree last year, Larry      atively unadventurous, but even that
                                                                                                                                                                                    living arrangement was light years from

                                                                                                                                                       continued right on to a
                                                                                               ommuters in north Tel Aviv            Masters. “I play solo repertoire, cham-        life in South Africa.”
                                                                                               became accustomed to the              ber music and am a member of the                 “The sheer fun of independence and
                                                                                               sight of a young man resolutely       Academy Orchestra. Our orchestra              freedom from fear grows on you.” Now
                                                                                     pedalling toward the university every           appears around the world. Over the            Talya lives with her boyfriend (another
                                                                                     morning with a violin strapped securely         past few years, we have performed in          former South African), in an upscale
                                                            Jezreel                  to his back. The cyclist is violinist Larry     Berlin, New York, Madrid and Zurich.”         Jerusalem neighbourhood. She isn’t
                                                           Valley                    Brandt, a Masters student in Music at           After school and                                               the pub-hopping type,
                                                          Regional                                                                   practice hours,                                                but her social life is
                                                                                     the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music                                               “The sheer fun of
                                                                                     at Tel Aviv University. “At the age of two,     Larry performs                                                 filled with friends. Talya
                                                           library.                  I had wanted to play the violin, but my         at private func-          independence and freedom who keeps kosher and
                                                                                     parents wouldn’t pay for lessons until I        tions, teaches             from fear grows on you.” Shabbat, regularly eats
                                                                                     could hold the violin by myself,” and a         a bit, and what                                                her Friday night meals
                                                                                     toddler tweaking the strings was more           else? – works as an advisor to a hi-tech/     with friends. “We had a huge Shab-
                                                                                     than most teachers could cope with. So          music start-up. This is Israel, after all.    bas get-together last week with ten
                                                                                     Larry began lessons at age four.                   In music, art and dance, Israel ranks      friends staying over.” Talya loves her
                                                                                        Born and bred in Cape Town, he               with the capitals of the world. Per-          studies, her independence and
                                                                                     became concertmaster of the Beau                formances abound and educational              her freedom, but “when
                                                                                     Soleil Music Centre Orchestra. “Before          programmes are copious.                       we adopted a feisty
                                                                                                                                                                                   street cat, our house
                                                                                     I graduated from Herzlia High School, I                              k                        became home. If I
                                                                                     began to think about my study options.
                                                                                                                                        Talya Korb, who had always had a           could look after
                                                                                     After a performance of the Aviv Quar-
                                                                                                                                     penchant for the arts was told by her         another creature,
                                                                                     tet in Cape Town, I went backstage and
                                                                                                                                     shaliach to “go to university in South
                           Communications student                                    introduced myself to their first violinist,
                                                                                                                                     Africa. It is too hard in Israel, and any-
                                                                                                                                                                                   I was truly
                         conducting an interview with                                Sergey Ostrovsky. He graciously listened                                                      s e t t l e d .”
                                                                                                                                     way, you will never be accepted.” Her         v
                      fellow students on the Ort Braude                              to me play, took an interest and recom-
                                                                                                                                     obedient streak winning out, she began
                        College of Engineering campus.                               mended I look up his former teacher at
                                                                                                                                     Drama at WITS. “I loved the studies, but
                                                                                     Tel Aviv University.”
                                                                                                                                     I didn’t feel I was in the right place.” Her
                                                                                        Larry participated in the Birthright         stubbornness soon surfaced, and Talya
                                                                                     trip with the intention of taking the           decided that she would have to see for
                                                                                     opportunity to audition for univer-             herself if she could make it in Israel.
                                                                                     sity while in Israel. “Mind you, as much           “I had been in Israel on Bnei Akiva
                                                                                     as I loved music, I had barely been to          programmes, and although aliyah was
                                                                                     ten symphony concerts my entire life in         never a given, it was becoming a real-
                                                                                     South Africa.The classical music scene in       istic option. After the year at WITS, I
                                                                                     Israel is spectacular – there is no com-        came to Israel and did a summer ulpan
                                                                                     parison to South Africa. I try to go to at      at Haifa University. During that period, I
                                                                                     least two concerts a month. Students in         applied, and was accepted to a number
                                                         In a lab at                 our programme get free tickets to the           of art schools. I didn’t know much about
                                                       Karmiel’s Ort                 Israel Philharmonic. World class musi-
                                                      Braude College of

                                                                                                                                   The Arts
                                                                                                                                                                                           Talya Korb, art student

                                   Lucky Convergence                                                                                    had been in
                                                                                                                                        Bnei       Akiva
                                                                                                                                                                 “...when I saw the benefits           get around it. But it
                                                                                                                                                                available for tuition from was a good year of

          srael is a technological power-      ical School Campus and her work is            ment, I don’t feel that indiscriminate
          house. Known as Silicon Wadi,        in Ichilov Hospital in downtown Tel           hostility.
                                                                                                                                        High School               the Student Authority, I             refresher courses
                                                                                                                                        programmes,                                                    and settling in.“
          it is home to R&D centres for        Aviv. Dafna is researching antibiotic           It was quite sad to see what was         grew up in a
                                                                                                                                                                decided to take the plunge.” Now, in his third
almost all the giant hi-tech compa-            resistance to secondary infections.           happening in South Africa; it is such a    Zionist home,                                                  year of Mechani-
nies. It is a world leader in technology       “The research in Israel is much more          beautiful country, but my freedom and      and came to Israel “with the intention     cal Engineering, Irwin is particularly
and bio-tech startups. South African           advanced than that in South Africa,           my future were too important to me         of staying.” He attended Yeshivat Har      interested in thermal problems – heat
students find that in terms of both            and the lab in Ichilov is phenome-            to remain there.”                          Etzion in combination with his army        exchange and transfer in large systems
educational and job alternatives, Israel       nal. Yet, I would say that, certainly at                                                 service, and upon discharge was ready      such as power plants and aircraft. “I
is an oasis of opportunity.                    WITS, there was more emphasis on
                                                                                                                                        to continue his family tradition of engi-  think the curriculum is the same as in
   Although that is not the reason             lecture attendance and writing essays.          Irwin Shuman from Cape Town              neering. “I had a South African friend     South Africa; in fact, the same as in any
either Irwin Shuman or Dafna Admony            Israeli students are totally different:       graduated from Herzlia High School,                          who recommended          engineering programme in the World.
are studying in Israeli universities, it is    they share everything                                                                                      Ben Gurion Univer-       I’m using a textbook my Dad used in
an added plus.                                 and are willing to help                                                                                    sity and I’m happy       South Africa – his was the 2nd edition,
                                               each other—to the                                                                                          he did. The people in    and mine is the 7th.
   Admits Dafna Admony from Green-             point of outright cop-
side, “I didn’t want to stay in South                                                                                                                     Beer Sheva and at the       “I have the advantage of English
                                               ying.”                                                                                                     university are down-
Africa. I just didn’t feel safe. I couldn’t                                                                                                                                        here because many of the textbooks
even sit in my garden without looking             “Socially, I relish my                                               Dafna Admony in her                to-earth and nice. I     don’t even exist in Hebrew; Israelis
                                               freedom. I don’t have                                                                                      would compare it to
over my shoulder.” Dafna’s forecast                                                                                          research lab.                                         avoid them and rely on lecture notes
for the South African Jewish commu-            a car. I can walk wher-                                                                                    a university out in      and summaries.”
nity is bleak. “Before I left, I saw many      ever and whenever                                                                                          the Cape Province.
                                                                                                                                                          Because it is in the        Enjoying both worlds—access to
Jewish South Africans leaving, and the         I want. I have a wide
                                                                                                                                                          “middle of nowhere”,     English textbooks and the Israeli prac-
entire community is dwindling at an            and diverse circle of
                                                                                                                                                          students have to build   tice of group study—Irwin quite enjoys
alarming rate.”                                friends; an amazing
                                                                                                                                                          a life for themselves.   the studies, but admits the long hours
                                               boyfriend, and I have
   Completing her Bachelors and Hon-                                                                                                                      Not only that, but       leave him little time to take advan-
                                               learned to be inde-
ors degree at WITS, Dafna registered                                                                                                                      rents are refreshingly   tage of the many campus activities. In
                                               pendent. I also feel
for her Masters there, but “left after a                                                                                                                  affordable, less than    essence, Irwin explores the motion of
                                               that I have more in
few months. Israel was familiar to me; I                                                                                                                  half of those in Tel     objects—robotics, aero-robotics, and
                                               common with the
had come on holidays. I knew the uni-                                                                                                                     Aviv or Jerusalem.       he is confident that there will be work
                                               people in Israel. In
versities in Israel were highly regarded,                                                                                                                                          in this burgeoning field. “Particularly in
                                               South Africa, with                                                                                             “My first year at
and when I saw the benefits available                                                                                                                                              Israel, where there is such accelerated
                                               non-Jewish friends, I                                                                                      Ben Gurion was
for tuition from the Student Authority,                                                                                                                                            technological development.”
                                               found myself getting                                                                                       in the Mechina or
I decided to take the plunge.“                 infuriated with what I                                                                                     Preparatory Year pro-       Israel’s top calibre science research
   Dafna can now be found in the Mas-          considered knee-jerk                                                                                       gramme. My South         may not be exactly what brought
ters Program in Medical Sciences at            anti-Israel      stances.                                                                                  African matriculation    Dafna or Irwin to Israel, but through
Tel Aviv University, with a special-           Here, no matter what                                                                                       was not recognized       their studies, they have become part

                                                                                  The Sciences
ity in microbiology and immunology.            the parameters of a                                                                                        in Israel, so there was  of the nucleus of the dynamic and
Her classes are primarily at the Med-          discussion or argu-                                                                                        little way for me to     innovative Israeli industry. v

                          The Israel Student Authority “Minhal Hastudentim”
     Who are we?
     The Israel Student Authority, operated jointly through the                  Note: Service in the Israel Defense Forces or National Service              Pre-Aliyah services run by the
                                                                                 (Sherut Leumi) is not included, and rights to assistance are frozen
     Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and the Jewish Agency,
     assists immigrant students in Israel. Its mission is to encourage           for the duration of service. However this does NOT effect the age
                                                                                                                                                             Israel Student Authority:
                                                                                                                                                           We can….
     student aliyah, to assist in academic integration, promote                  restrictions, which are till applicable to discharged soldiers.
     student absorption within Israeli society, and to assist on a                                                                                         • Help you find the study track you are looking for
     personal basis throughout the absorption process.                                                                                                     • Give you information & advice about studying in Israel
                                                                                 Age stipulations                                                          • Evaluate your documents from abroad
     What is the assistance offered to new immigrant students?                   •Candidates for Mechina must begin their studies before                   • Confirm your eligibility for assistance
     • Standard University tuition fees: for a B.A./M.A./ Certificate              their 23rd birthday.                                                    • Check with the university if you are exempt from Mechina
        studies/Practical Engineering studies.                                   •Candidates for undergraduate degrees must begin their                    •Advise you on Hebrew ulpan programs and how best to
     • Social and cultural events, excursions, and seminars.                       studies before their 27th birthday.                                     prepare for studying in Israel
     • Counsellors that offer individual and group guidance.                     •Candidates for practical engineering studies must begin
     • Information and guidance for overseas candidates                            their studies before their 28th birthday.                               Each year the Student Authority assists about 7000 immigrant
     • Guidance and counselling on academic issues.                              •Candidates for graduate studies must begin their studies                 students from all over the world fulfill the dream of studying in
     • Individual and group tutoring                                               before their 30th birthday.                                             Israel…
     • The Shachak program (the social-community program).
     • Referrals to scholarship funds and loans for financial                                                                                              The English Desk invites you to be in touch and fulfill your dream:
        assistance.                                                              Academic conditions                                                       Naomi Shmuel –
                                                                                 • Matriculation certificate / high school diploma
                                                                                 • Meeting the acceptance requirements of the institution
       What are the conditions                                                   • Normal academic transition from one year to the next.
       for receiving assistance?                                                 •Studies in institutions and tracks that are recognized by                                                Members of the Student Organic
                                                                                 the Israel Student Authority (we do not give assistance for                                                Co-op at Hebrew University
                                                                                 studying in branches of foreign universities in Israel)
     • New immigrants/ child of immigrants.
                                                                                 Aid is not granted for an additional degree at the same level,
     • Returning minors (katin hozer).
                                                                                 regardless of whether the first degree was obtained in Israel
     • Ezrachim olim (an immigrant born overseas to an Israeli
                                                                                 or overseas.
                                                                                 • Extent of assistance: up to 3 years of study
     Period of stay in Israel:
                                                                                 Students in their third year of studies are required to do
     Students must begin their studies within 36 months following
                                                                                 community service (Shahak)
     aliyah, and complete studies within 7.5 years of aliyah.

                             Ready for Anything
       Y         ou’ve completed an ulpan
                 and can chatter away com-
                 fortably about the price of
       cucumbers, the weather, and that cute
                                                   Americans, Russians, North Ameri-
                                                   cans and some Europeans. On the
                                                   one hand, it was like high school, even
                                                   more rigid in terms of attendance.
                                                                                                   I started the Mechina, but I don’t think
                                                                                                   I would have managed so well this year
                                                                                                   if I hadn’t had that extra cushion.
                                                                                                      “It is a bridge between high school
       guy who lives around the corner. But        Everything was compulsory and you               and university. The Mechina demands
       are you ready to begin university in        had to pass all your courses or you                                                               The amphitheatre at Hebrew University.
                                                                                                   less class hours and less homework
       Hebrew? A safe bet is to follow the         couldn’t be accepted into the univer-

                                                                                                   than in Medical School. While we lived
       prescribed route and attend what is         sity. It was Hebrew, and Hebrew and             in dorms with Israeli students, there
       known in Israel as “Mechina”, or Pre-       more Hebrew. On the other hand, it              was much more structure and over-
       paratory Year.                              was great socially. You study until the         sight than in regular university classes.
          Taryn Korb was reading Law at            afternoon and then you can hang out             In the Science Mechina, Chen studied
       WITS when she did an about-face. A
       native of Glenhazel and a King David
                                                   on the beach or sit at cafes (before
                                                   doing your homework).”
                                                                                                   math and sciences in Hebrew for the
                                                                                                   first time. “Instead of sitting through
                                                                                                                                                             University Preparatory Programs
       graduate, she and been to Israel on
       youth movement programmes and
                                                      Now a student in English Literature
                                                   and Gender Studies, Taryn is very glad
                                                                                                   my first month in a fog, I began Medical
                                                                                                   School fluent in scientific terminology.
                                                                                                                                                                     for Immigrants
       continued to be involved in informal        she had a year to polish her Hebrew             Having completed the Mechina actually                Mechina programs for new immigrants are one-year programs intended
       Jewish education. The itch to go back       and adjust to life on campus. “Tel Aviv         eased the load in my first year of regu-             for students who completed high school overseas and who hold a high-
       just wouldn’t abate.                        University is very intense academically.        lar classes because I got an exemption               school completion certificate that is not considered equivalent to an
                                                   The level is much higher than it was            from first-year physics, and statistics is           Israeli bagrut - such as the South African Matric.
         Although Taryn could “get by”
       in Hebrew, she is “grateful for the         in South Africa – in both my depart-            basically a repeat of what I studied in              Mechina is compulsory for all universities, aside from Bar Ilan. Most other
       opportunity to have a year of prepa-        ments. Now, neither Hebrew, nor                 the Mechina. ”                                       academic institutions do not obligate students to take the Mechina, but it
       ration and adjustment.” Arriving “cold      finding my way around campus nor                                                                     is strongly recommended.
                                                   university bureaucracy, is an issue”                Chen, who is renting an apartment
       turkey” at Tel Aviv University, the                                                         with friends in downtown Jerusalem,                  Mechina programs are held at these universities only: Haifa University,
       Mechina was her first taste of Israeli                         k                            enjoyed the time she spent on the                    Tel Aviv University, the Technion, Bar Ilan University, and the Hebrew
       university. “The programme was for            Chen Futeran knew from an early               main Hebrew University campus of                     University.
       new immigrants, so there were South         age that she wanted to make aliyah.             Mt. Scopus. She got a sense of student               Each Mechina program begins with a university summer ulpan, after which
                                                   Feeling comfortable in Hebrew, and              life in all its typical Israeli boisterous-          students study in one of the following study tracks: humanities, social
                                                           having been on programmes               ness – “almost all the student life and              sciences, engineering, sciences. Acceptance to the science & engineering
Chen Futeran                                               in Israel, she really “didn’t want      student politics happen on Mt. Sco-                  study tracks is dependent upon passing an exam in mathematics.
 and friend                                                to ‘waste’ a year on ‘prepara-          pus. She now studies on two other                    The Mechina uses one of the three years tuition entitlements for new
                                                           tion’. “But I am happy I did it.”       Hebrew U. campuses – Givat Ram                       immigrant students.
                                                           Now midway through her first            and Ein Karem, which are far from the
                                                           of seven years of Medicine at           maddening crowd. I’m glad I got to                   Exempt from Mechina are students with Bagrut equivalency (such as IB)
                                                           Hebrew University, Chen says,           experience it, but right now,” she has               or students who have studied at least one academic year abroad.
                                                           “My Hebrew was good before              time for books, and very little else. v              Mechina is not required of students registering for graduate programs.
                                                                                                                                                        Mechina involves a five-day week, about thirty hours per week.
                                                                   “It is a bridge between high school and university.”

                                                   Y           ou are studying in Israel.
                                                               Jewish holidays are national
                                                               holidays. There is a palpa-
                                                   ble feeling of purpose. National debate
                                                                                                   mingling of the holy and secular – “for
                                                                                                   instance when a political rally for Gilad
                                                                                                   Shalit was organized, it began with a
                                                                                                   reading from Psalms.“ Bar Ilan suits               Look No Further
                                                   tackles issues concerning the destiny           Yair so seamlessly, the idea of “fitting
                                                   of the Jewish people.                           in” seems almost trivial.                     ing university in Manchester, but after    English. Theoretically, I could order it
    Where can you find high standards in                                                                                                         spending time at a Midrasha in Jeru-       from the Haifa University library, but
                                                      But it was the added value of reli-             While Bar Ilan is the only religious
    higher education combined with a reli-                                                                                                       salem with Bnei Akiva, she decided         I prefer just relying on our social net-
                                                   gious community that Yair Gordon                university granting Bachelors, Masters
    gious environment?                                                                                                                           to make aliyah. As she became more         work. We are a small, tight group and
                                                   sought and found at Bar Ilan Univer-            and doctoral degrees, many Academic
    Where can you qualify yourself                 sity. With a matriculation from Yeshiva         Colleges geared for the religious stu-        religious, she “wanted to study in an      there is a lot of studying together.
    & strengthen your Jewish identity              College in hand, he passed up WITS              dent are accredited to grant Bachelor’s       all-women’s school.” While attending       Someone will summarize a lecture and
    simultaneously?                                and opted for aliyah. Just being in             degrees. The Jerusalem College of             an ulpan and Preparatory Studies pro-      send it out by email to everyone.”
    Where can you face history and discover        Israel is intoxicating for Yair - “I find it    Technology has campuses for men and           gramme in Jerusalem, she stumbled             Her first year in Occupational Ther-
    your roots while preparing yourself for        exhilarating to be actively part of the         women and specializes in the sciences.        upon Mivchar, a small Haredi college       apy included anatomy, physiology,
    the challenges of the future?                  fulfilment of the Jewish nation.”               Teachers Colleges and Nursing Schools         in Bnei Brak, an extension college of      biology and sociology – all in Hebrew.
                                                                                                   also cater to the religious student.          Haifa University. The school offered a     “The Hebrew soon becomes second
    Where, if not in ISRAEL?!                         Studying at a university founded on
                                                   the principle of ‘Jewish learning and the                         k                           solid academic track in Occupational       nature. But” she admits, ”it would have
    A full list of study options can be found in                                                                                                 Therapy, her profession of choice,
                                                   Torah of Israel, together with all the latest      Malka Lis knew well what it meant                                                     been a bit more helpful to have come
    the booklet “A Kosher Degree”.                                                                                                               as well as a speciality in hand reha-
                                                   findings in the fields of human research’       to study in a language other than her                                                    to Israel fluent in Hebrew, rather than
    Please note that some religious                                                                                                              bilitative therapy which she plans to      in Welsh.” v
                                                   is the icing on the cake. At Bar Ilan           mother tongue. She came from the
    institutions have mixed gender classes,                                                                                                      pursue.
                                                   University where Yair is studying for a         small Jewish community of Cardiff
    such as Bar Ilan University, and some have     double Bachelors Degree in Education            and attended one of the few Welsh-               “There is nothing really
    separate classes for men and for women,        and Jewish Philosophy, he is part of an         language schools. “My parents figured         Haredi about it, but all the
    for example Machon Lev (for men) and           institution which inspires the cultiva-         there would be more of an empha-              girls are frum,” says Malka.
    Machon Tal (for women).                        tion of religious and academic thought          sis on Welsh nationalism than on              Her 35 classmates in second
                                                   in the national religious movement.             Christianity, as is common in the Eng-        year Occupational Therapy,

    Religious                                                                                      lish-language State schools.”                 are a mixture of haredi and
                                                     He lives in a dorm on campus. “The
                                                                                                                                                 modern orthodox women.
                                                   milk and meat kitchens are separate.              Malka had thought about attend-
                                                                                                                                                 Modest dress is adhered to
                                                   There is always a minyan in the cam-
                                                                                                                                                 and the atmosphere is safely

                                                   pus shul, even during the week. On
                                                   weekends, students get together, each
                                                                                                      A religious atmosphere                     secluded. “Although the
                                                   bringing a dish, and share the Shabbat            and a rigorous academic                     teaching standard is very
                                                                                                                                                 high, our school is so small
                                                   meal.” The Student Union organizes                 curriculum prove the                       and the library so insignifi-
                                                   both religious and general events—
                                                   movies, guest speakers, Campus
                                                                                                   winning comibation for Yair                   cant, that I often have a hard
                                                   Shabbatot, plays. Yair relishes the inter-              and Malka.                            time finding textbooks in
                                                                                                                                                                                   An outdoor concert

              Masters                                                           Access to Quality
H          annah Glaff has a bachelors
           degree in Law and French
           Literature. Asher Orkaby
a bachelors degree in history. Both
had many graduate options available
                                               know what the “other” is thinking. My
                                               seminar thesis is on the impact of Jew-
                                               ish-Arab NGOs on Israeli society.”
                                                                                                                                              Asher Orkaby was also interested
                                                                                                                                           in the Middle East. Although he was
                                                                                                                                           raised in Brooklyn, the cadences and
to them. Both chose to continue their             “University in England is more tra-                                                      flavours of the Occident were famil-                      Asher Orkaby and family
education in Israel.                           ditional. Here there is less structure,                                                     iar; his father’s family hails from Yemen.     the campus life and desert beauty of
   Hannah had been active in the Fed-          although the facilities are comparable.                                                     Asher asserts,“Israel is the safest place      Beer Sheva. “The entire city is the
eration of Zionist Youth in London. “I         The Israeli students tend to be older                                                       for a Jew to study the Middle East, and        campus as it’s pulse pumps around the
spent a gap year in Israel, and aliyah         and most hold down jobs in addition                                                         all the universities have highly repu-         students and the university. ”
was in the cards since then.” Hannah           to their studies. I was working part-                                                       table departments. Although Asher
                                                                                                                                                                                             The Middle East Studies program
wanted to live in flat, pedestrian-            time: translating, editing and writing.                                                           knows Hebrew, he chose the Eng-
                                                                                                                                                                                          me entails one year of course work,
friendly, less religious, socially vibrant     Although the tuition for my degree                                          “I tend               lish-language Masters programme
                                                                                                                                                                                          followed by a Masters thesis. Asher,
Tel Aviv, and she was interested in            is essentially paid for by the Student                                      toward       the in Middle Eastern Studies at Ben              fascinated by family stories, chose
Middle East politics. Tel Aviv Universi-       Authority, I am glad I came with some                                                             Gurion University.
ty’s Security Studies beckoned.                savings.”                                                                   diplomatic                                                     to research the effect of the Jewish
                                                                                                                                                   While Asher exercised his              exodus on the Yemeni economy in
   “It is an interdisciplinary degree             In addition to work and study, Han-
                                                                                                                           side of              option to read some courses in            the 1950s. Asher has studied Arabic,
with courses in military strategy, inter-      nah is active in Tel Aviv English speaking                                  things.”             Hebrew, he “found the English-            and fortuitously, “one of the world’s
national and national security, conflict       circles. “There are quite a few social                                                           language classes small, intimate,         experts on Yemeni dialects teaches at
management and diplomacy. I tend               events and ongoing activities for Eng-                                                       and of very high quality. There are           Ben Gurion. I am studying with world-
toward the diplomacy side of things.”          lish speakers in Tel Aviv. I keep in touch                                                   twenty-seven students in my year—             renowned professors and no matter
She is researching Arab-Jewish rela-           with friends in Israel, as well as in Eng-                                                   primarily from North America and              how well known they are, they are
tions in Israel. I always had a desire to      land through Facebook.”                                                                      Europe. In addition, he was drawn to          totally accessible.” v
                                                                                                                Hannah Glaff

        The Psychometric Exam
One of the more unfamiliar challenges facing students wishing to study in
Israel is the Psychometric Exam.
                                                                                             Medicine’s Changing Face
                                                                                                     ue to either social, cul-              make a difference in public health by         to party in one of the many student
What is it and who is required?                                                                      tural, economic, historical            combining my current studies with the         bars in the city.”
The Psychometric is a multiple-choice university entrance exam equivalent                            or genetic factors, Jews are           skills and experience I brought with
to the American SAT1. The test consists of verbal, logical reasoning and                                                                                                                     Recently instituted in the Medical
                                                                                            prominent in the field of medicine.             me from Australia.”                           School is a weekly Communications
quantitative reasoning, and English and is based on academic ability.                       More than in many other callings, the
Most Israeli universities and colleges require those applying for undergrad-                ranks of Israel’s medical and para-
                                                                                                                                                              k                           Course. “We learn to speak with the
                                                                                                                                                                                          patients and understand them in their
uate studies, including students who have some academic background, to                      medical professionals have a large                 Now in her first year of medicine
                                                                                                                                                                                          entirety rather than through their ill-
take the Psychometric Exam. Some study tracks and some academic col-                        representation of immigrants, some              at Ben Gurion University, Neta Elani
                                                                                                                                                                                          ness. Every month we concentrate on
leges do not require psychometric, and will accept you on the basis of past                 having studied in Israel, some abroad,          was born in Johannesburg to Israeli
                                                                                                                                                                                          a different type of population: children,
achievement and a personal interview.                                                       and some a combination of both.                 parents. Her family moved to Lon-
                                                                                                                                                                                          pregnant women, the mentally ill, etc.
                                                                                                                                            don when she was 12, and when she
A student taking the Psychometric Exam in a foreign language must also                        Gila Levitan had completed her                                                              We also deal with different ethnicities
                                                                                                                                            was 18, she made aliyah, joining Garin
take a Hebrew proficiency exam (the Ye’el exam). The Hebrew Exam is a                       degree in physiotherapy from the Uni-                                                         and cultural approaches to health and
                                                                                                                                            Tzabar. Adopting the rite of passage
separate part of the Psychometric Exam and scores are not averaged into                     versity of Sydney when she settled on                                                         doctors.”
                                                                                                                                            common to her Israeli contemporar-
the overall Psychometric scores. Grading for the Psychometric ranges from                   her decision to make aliyah. “I wanted                                                       Neta and Gila will be well-equipped
                                                                                                                                            ies, she took a long journey to India,
300 to 800 points; a minimum of 450 points is necessary for acceptance to                   my home to be in a place I felt deeply                                                    to don the mantle of medicine’s chang-
                                                                                                                                            before returning to Israel to study.
higher education studies. The general faculty admission requirements are:                   about.” While living in an Absorption                                                     ing face in the coming decades. v
                                                                                                                                            Steeped in a patchwork of cultures,
• Humanities: minimum 450 points                                                            Centre and studying in an ulpan, Gila
                                                                                                                                            Neta loves London,
• Social Sciences: 500-600 points and over
                                                                                            volunteered in a hospital.
                                                                                                                                            but “didn’t want to                “Aliyah
• Economics, Natural Sciences, Exact Sciences, Engineering: min. 600-700                       She noticed in Israel what she had           study in England.               for me is a
                                                                                            seen in Australia —“recurring patterns          Israel is less formal    journey of self-
• Psychology and Medicine: minimum 700 points
                                                                                            of diseases of lifestyle such as diabe-         and more fun.”
The Psychometric Exam results are valid for seven years; there are several                  tes, stroke and heart disease. Much of                                      discovery and
                                                                                                                                              She chose Ben
exam dates throughout the year, and one may take the exam once a year.The                   their devastation can be prevented by
                                                                                                                                            Gurion University
exam may be taken in English either in April or July (although if applying to a             changes in diet and exercise. I realized
select faculty you will probably be required to take it in April in order that the                                                          because “despite the very rigorous
                                                                                            that 21st century medicine is moving
results be available on time). If you are particularly motivated you can take                                                               courseload, there is an atmosphere
                                                                                            toward the preventative, rather than
both SAT and Psychometric; the university will use the higher score.                                                                        of cooperation.” Coupled with the
                                                                                            the solely curative.“ Hearing from a
                                                                                                                                            academic camaraderie, is a vibrant
It is very worthwhile to prepare yourself for the Psychometric Exam, you                    friend about the Masters Program in
                                                                                                                                            campus life. After studying until they
can either do so independently (there are many private courses available)                   Public and Community Medicine at
                                                                                                                                            are cross-eyed, “we go out together
or in subsidized courses as part university preparatory course (at extra                    Hebrew University, Gila investigated                                                          Gila Levitan
cost). Courses in foreign languages open in accordance with demand.                         the option. “The School has a solid

                                                                                            international reputation and I thought
Why not do the SAT?                                                                         that studying in Israel would be an
As you may take the Psychometric in English, it might prove to be the                       excellent way to make connections
same level of difficulty as the SAT. Compare by looking at past exams on                    and ease myself into the field.”
the internet in order to determine for yourself which is more appropriate.                     Gila, whose parents left South Africa
Bear in mind that you lose points when the SAT score is converted into
a Psychometric score, and that the SAT is not accepted by most medical
                                                                                            for Australia in the early 1980s, is com-
                                                                                            pleting a circuitous route to Israel.
                                                                                                                                                   Studying Health Professions in Israel
                                                                                                                                            Health professions are divided into two main tracks; the academic track and the
schools in Israel.                                                                          “Aliyah for me is a journey of self-dis-
                                                                                                                                            professional training track.
Almost all students in Israel take the Psychometric Exams and after prepar-                 covery and independence. I am proud
                                                                                            when I work things out for myself.              Studies in the academic track take place at universities or colleges, and include standard
ing most feel quite confident. Don’t let this exam scare you away it is a
                                                                                            Whereas the step to study in Hebrew             health professions such as medicine, physiotherapy, nursing, and communications
stepping stone on your path to studying in Israel. Sample tests and exer-
                                                                                            was daunting, I have the opportunity            therapy along with fields such as x-ray and imaging, optometry, biotechnology,
cises may be found in registration kits, as well as in bookstores, and on the
                                                                                            to make connections with people in              medical laboratory science, environmental health, and others.
National Institute for Testing and Evaluation (NITE) web site: http://www.                                                                                my field and reap the benefits of the           The professional training track leads to a professional certificate (not an academic
                                                                                            renowned academic staff at the uni-             degree). Certificates are recognized by the Ministry of Health, which grants licenses
If you have questions about doing the exam in a foreign language you can
                                                                                            versity. Most of all, I feel I can really       to practice in medical professions. Some of the fields of study include training for
contact NITE directly At P.O.B. 26015, Jerusalem 91260, Tel: (02) 6759555;
                                                                                                                                            practical nurses and dental assistants. Technical colleges also offer study programs in
                                                                                                                                            the field of medical equipment.
          A Place in the Sun                                                                                                        Gaby


                                                                                                                                    classes at the
                  “Place in the Sun”                                                            development, narra-                 IDC.                                                            Daniel Savery reads over some
                  is a Channel 4 real-                                                          tive voice, everything.                                                                             papers before going into class

                  ity show about Brits                                                          I know that everyone                                                                                  in Bar Ilan University’s
        following their dreams. Estab-                                                          in my programme feels                         tional experience.”                                    English-language Creative
        lished families leave the chilly                                                        that their style has improved, even
        drizzle of the UK to buy                                                                over this short period of time.                  Gaby shares an apartment with                           Writing Program.
        property and build a home in                                                                                                          classmates in Herzliya. “IDC has

                                                                                                   “For our thesis, each one of us picks
        lands where the rays of the                                                                                                           become something of a family. Most of
                                                                                                our best pieces, stories or poems, and
        sun banish the biting cold.                                                                                                           us in the International School are here
                                                                                                works one-on-one with an instructor
        London-bred Daniel Savery                                                                                                             without our family, so we have cre-
                                                                                                of our choice By the time I have com-
        wrote for the series, working                                                                                                         ated an extended network—a family
                                                                                                pleted my thesis, my writing will have
        on-site from Mexico to Pro-                                                                                                           of friends. Shabbat dinners and lunches
                                                                                                been reviewed, revised and reworked
        vence. He spent four years                                                                                                            are always a social event, more often
                                                                                                scores of times; leaving me with a pub-
        watching others bravely face bureauc-        Creative Writing Masters Program.                                                        than not, including someone from our
                                                                                                lishable body of work.”
        racies and foreign tongues to live out       Currently more than half a year into                                                     Government programme.”
                                                                                                  Daniel, although devoting most of
        their dreams, until he finally decided       the two-year programme, Daniel “can’t
                                                                                               his time to studies, has squeezed in                            k
        that he too would realize a personal         recommend it enough. I am thoroughly
                                                                                               some journalism work. “There are                  Mikhail Kramer, a native of Sandton,
        vision of making a life for himself in the   impressed by the calibre of teaching
                                                                                               many English-language writers in Israel,       is in his second year of the IDC Busi-
        Jewish State.                                and material. Our Israel-based pro-
                                                                                               but I think there is a lot of work out         ness track. He also relished the idea
                                                     fessors are top-notch, and there is a
           “I come from a Zionist family, many                                                                                                of independence. “I had had enough
                                                     regular stream of visiting pro-
        of whom had already made aliyah. My                                                                                                   of Johannesburg, and enough of being
        girlfriend and I so loved coming here
                                                     fessors from some of the best         “Just spending time with students                  spoon-fed. I wanted to do things by
                                                     universities in the world, such
        on holiday after holiday, we decided
                                                     as Harvard and Columbia.”
                                                                                          from so many different cultures is                  myself.” While classes are “interest-          around, getting out of bed can be dif-
        that we should just live here.”
                                           Daniel, who made aliyah
                                                                                               an educational experience.”                    ing”, and the quality of the professors,       ficult if you haven’t yet hit the sack.
           Although an accomplished journal-                                                                                                  “high”, one of the “real advantages of         Mikhail claims, however, that classes
                                         with his girlfriend, Shira, sees                       there if you look in the right places.”       IDC is the amazing networking with
        ist, he “had always wanted to study                                                                                                                                                  can be scheduled to accommodate his
                                         the programme not just as a career                     Setting his computer aside, and slip-         students from all over the world.”
        English literature. Researching online,                                                                                                                                              nocturnal habits. He appreciates the
                                         move, but as food for the soul. “Since                 ping out of his writing den, Daniel
        he found the Bar Ilan English-Language                                                                                                   Mikhail has also turned his penchant        international atmosphere, the calibre
                                                          the        programme                  can’t get enough of Tel Aviv. ”It rains       for jolling into a business. He estab-         of the instructors and the attractive-
                                                          requires      literature              in London so people sit in pubs. Here
 Israeli International Cricketer Dovi (David)             courses, I have been                  people sit outside, and cafes are eve-
                                                                                                                                              lished an event promotion outfit with          ness of the school grounds. Yet, the
                                                                                                                                              a friend, and can be found behind the          beach, the freedom, the parties and
     Meyers, recent graduate of the Masters               exposed to writers I                  rywhere. Shiri and I sit and relax, enjoy     scenes at many of the biggest dance            the independence are also part of
  programme in Government at the IDC. “The                had never read, par-                  the great fresh food, meet friends,           parties in Tel Aviv. When 7 am rolls           Mikhail’s life at IDC. v
                                                          ticularly Americans.                  sometimes stroll down to the beach.”
  IDC School of Government is at the cutting              I find that historical                It is cosmopolitan, heimish; intellectu-
 edge. Local and world leaders in government,             surveys of literature,                ally stimulating and neighbourly all at
  business and academia—breeze through its                essentially the history

                                                                                                                                                                     Beyond the Books
                                                                                                once. Having his cake and eating it too,
corridors and lecture halls. What is said today           of human feelings,                    Daniel savours life in Israel, while pur-
                                                          invite one to view the
  at the IDC is read tomorrow in the media.”                                                    suing an English-language profession
                                                          world differently. Indi-
                                                          viduals basically write
                                                                                                and vocation.                                              Shahak: The Student Volunteer Program for
                                                          because they want
                                                                                                                  k                                                   Giving and Receiving
                                                          to; they have an urge                    Gaby Charnas and Mikhail Kramer,
                                                          to touch others. This                 both undergraduates, don’t study                      By Naomi Shmuel from the Israel Student Authority
                                                          course takes some-                    English, yet they study in English. The
                                                                                                                                                      In their third year of study immigrant students receiving Student
                                                          one with capabilities                 Interdisciplinary Center, or IDC, is
                                                                                                                                                      Authority assistance are given the (required) opportunity to volunteer
                                                          and hoists them into                  a private, accredited, highly reputa-
                                                                                                                                                      as a form of ‘social service’ to the community. For many students with
                                                          a different league of                 ble college with a four undergraduate
                                                                                                                                                      busy schedules what begins as a necessary requirement, soon tran-
                                                          expression.”                          tracks taught entirely in English.
                                                                                                                                                      spires into a wonderful opportunity to connect with Israeli society in
                                                                       In Daniel’s year,           “Someone came to my high school,                   ways never expected.
                                                                    there are fifteen stu-      King David Linksfield, and spoke to us
                                                                                                about the IDC,” says Gaby. “I thought,
                                                                                                                                                      Sava, a Material Engineering student gave extra lessons in maths and
                                                                    dents ranging in age                                                              English to a fourteen-year-old boy suffering from cancer.
                                                                    from 25 to 60, “some        ‘well this is interesting. I can study at a
                                                                    of them quite accom-        good school, in Israel, in English. Worth             “I started out helping him with his studies. At some point along the way I
                                                                    plished writers.Once a      looking into.’” Gaby had been ponder-                 found myself helping his mother take care of him. The experience taught
                                                                    week, we concentrate        ing the idea of attending university                  me a lot about human resilience and taking responsibility. The last year
                                                                    on writing, and there       outside of South Africa. “I wanted to                 helped me to understand that I can cope with difficult situations that are
                                                                    is an open review.          be independent – to burst out of my                   not normally encountered everyday. I am determined to continue to volun-
                                                                    We read each other’s        South African bubble, and I liked the                 teer after completing my studies.”
                                                                    stories and give feed-      idea of being in Israel.“                             Shahak, an acronym for social and community service enables students
                                                                    back. A writer can sit         Gaby studies Government at IDC.                    to gain an insight into Israeli society and often to form lasting friend-
                                                                    across from his or her      “That means government strategy and                   ships. For many volunteers it is a great opportunity for self-discovery.
                                                                    computer and re-read        diplomacy. The first year we had intro-               Mealen chose “The Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center”, for her volunteer-
                                                                    a piece some fifty          ductory courses, and this year we are                 ing, where a short intensive course prepared her for the task ahead.
                                                                    times, but self-editing     studying international law, the forma-
                                                                    cannot compare to           tion of the European Union, American                  “After the course, I went into high schools in Jerusalem and talked to stu-
                                                                    the impressions of fif-     History, etc. The students are from all               dents about the things that I learnt. I felt that I was doing a very important
                                                                    teen other first-time       over the world—about half North                       service to the community. Sometimes it is very hard to volunteer. It is hard
                                                                    readers. It has been        American, the remainder French, Ger-                  talking about this subject with teenagers. But I discovered that I could do it,
                                                                    so fantastic to have        man, British. It creates a fascinating                and it did a lot for my self confidence!”
                                                                    this calibre of input       atmosphere, with an amazing array of                  Grow both academically and personally. With Shahak, immigrant stu-
                                                                    from both my profes-        languages, backgrounds and opinions.                  dents make their mark on Israeli society. Don’t just read about history,
                                                                    sors and peers – on         Just spending time with students from                 help make it…
                                                                    structure, character        so many different cultures is an educa-

                                                                                                                                                                     Israel Student Authority:
                                                                                                                                                                    The Israel Centre SA:


Shared By: