Oh right, my list...

In April, I posted a reflection on my first year of Aliyah, and I set some goals for the next year. Now that I'm more than half way through this next year, I was a little nervous to look back at the list-- I hadn't thought about it since April, and I didn't think I'd accomplished any of the goals. But if you're curious, here's how I'm doing.

In April, I wrote...

1. I will read five more full-length books in Hebrew this year. Er... no comment. I've read parts of a few books, but I need to get cracking. Does the Hagaddah count as one? Btw, I welcome suggestions of books that are easy to read in Hebrew. I think I'll start with books I've already read in English, as well as books written for younger readers.

(One of the books on my shelf... can you figure out the English title?)

2. I will go back to studying a half hour of Hebrew every morning. ... Maybe I'll subscribe to some kind of fun Israeli magazine? Let's see... umm.... no. I do this off and on, but I need to prioritize this again and stick to it. I am now a subscriber to Menta (essentially the Israeli Shape), though, which works really well on the months when nobody steals my magazine before I find it!

3. I will find a new volunteer opportunity that will put me out in my community, speaking Hebrew. I've been slow in getting this going, but just last week I made contact with an organization that tutors autistic kids. I found them through this excellent portal: ivolunteer.org.il

4. I'll try to watch Israeli news more often. I do this sometimes, but not enough.

5. I'm going to start exercise classes so that I get out of the house and learn how to say "downward-facing dog" in Hebrew. :) Yes! Finally something I can say I've done! Over the summer, I took a number of aerobics classes with a friend (which were pretty hilarious-- half the time the instructor and the women in the class talked about craving falofel), and during the past month I've started a yoga class along with my husband. I'm still not quite sure how to say downward-facing dog (the instructor usually use tells us how to move into the movement, not the movement's name) but I have learned about 10 different words for "relaxation." Yesterday we did the gesher malei for the first time, and I feel it today.

6. I'll make plans with Israeli friends (or at least, friends I speak with only in Hebrew-- two of my best friends are Brazilian!) more often, for more informal Hebrew practice. Yay! I've done this too! For example, now I go walking three days a week with one of my Brazilian friends (who has amazing Hebrew). We may do more talking than aerobic exercise, but it's more than an hour of Hebrew.

7. My husband and I will celebrate "Hebrew-only Fridays," in which we only speak Hebrew for 24 hours to each other.Oh, right... that... um...

8. We'll figure out which shul we actually want to join. Done! We're paying members and everything.

9. I'll try to remember to be kind to myself, because one year really isn't that long and I don't need to become perfectly Israeli all at once. I've been really good at this one. Maybe too good. But I still maintain that this is perhaps the most important item on my list, so I'm ok with that.

So... I have a ways to go. I often find, though, that the act of writing a list of goals pays off in the long run. Even if I don't accomplish everything immediately, the fact that I once stated a goal sticks in my mind and motivates me to say yes to opportunities as they come along. A stack of Hebrew books is waiting for me...

By the way, after I wrote that post in April, I started Olim Omrim, a Hebrew blog written by immigrants to give me (and perhaps you!) opportunity to practice my Hebrew. I let it slide, but I'm reviving it now with a new format-- go check it out and write a comment! All levels of Hebrew are welcome, as are comments both by olim and non-olim.

Do you have any Israel-oriented resolutions?


  1. Sounds like you're doing great! If you're really looking for a book, I *really* liked ארבעה בתים וגעגוע. The first chapter was a little confusing, but after I got through that, it was fantastic! Not hard, and fantastic. Good luck! http://www.e-mago.co.il/Editor/literature-1283.htm

  2. Toby, thanks for the suggestion! Have you found that it is easier to read Hebrew books that have been translated from English, or ones that are originally in Hebrew?

  3. I'd suggest staying clear from some translated books where it's obvious that it's Hebrew with English grammar. Personally I was pretty impressed by איך לדבר עם אלמן {How to Speak to a Widower}'s translation, even when the English origin was apparent. G'luck!


  4. I would try some children's or teen books.

    I read books by Devora Omer such as Sarah giboret Nili.
    I also read a book called Gei Oni by shulamit Lapid


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