By Mia Deych
Last Updated 11/25/2016 at 4:30 PM
Tel Aviv, Azrieli: “I wanna show the nation my appreciation”: these inspiring words from the famous song by Shaggy will become the slogan of a new community, uniting and bonding grateful clients of Cellcom and Pelephone for slowly turning them into tough Sabras through contracts that are slightly harder to understand than the Gamara, but slightly easier to escape than a Turkish prison.
American Oleh Josh explained to The Daily Freier the unique mandate behind this initiative. “When you come to Israel, young and naive, one of the first errands you have to do is to buy a SIM Card”. Josh took a second to scroll through multiple notifications from WhatsApp and Tinder on his screen. “And then along came our… I would say sages……Israeli mobile operators. I mean the old-school ones – Cellcom and Pelephone”.
Josh showed us his first contract with Cellcom. “I didn’t even know where my name was, so I just signed it. After a month, it turned out that I had to pay 40 shekels more for direct transactions from my bank account and not my credit card (like, what?) and extra money for the SIM-card and stuff. I was livid. I thought they were scamming me for money! But now I understand that all those ostensibly fraudulent schemes are designed to mentor and guide us in the Land of our Forefathers. I really appreciate all the fights at their office that have made me a real (tough!) Israeli”.
Recent British Olah Sarah joined our conversation. “So true! I speak Hebrew, my dad’s Israeli; yet it took me almost a month to cancel my second Pelephone SIM-card for my iPad. Each time I called them, they tried to convince me to ponder my decision and promptly hung up on me, until I finally managed to overcome my Britishness and shout at them. Such a wonderful relief! I still have to pay 300 shekels for the SIM-card, but what an experience that was. Like the time I found out that Hebrew vowels were totally made up just to screw with Olim.”
Cellcom and Pelephone spokespersons have not given their official comments, but in a private conversation, Shlomi from the Cellcom kiosk in Azrieli Center agreed. “Finally our efforts in helping Olim are appreciated. Some Israeli banks are trying to do this job, but they are not as dedicated and consistent as we are. But, gotta say, Kol Kvod for all of Hot Cable’s efforts.”
(Sort of Based on a True Story, so we sort of changed the names! DM us for the real ones!)
By Emily Goldstein and Yuval Weiss
Last Updated 11/22/2016 at 8:00 PM
Tel Aviv, Savidor: Sincere fan of Israel and Israeli life “Alison” is bound and determined to make Aliyah, but as a Gentile in semi-good standing, she faces a very uphill fight. Yet Alison has never let small details get in the way of her goals. In fact, Alison is now on her way to the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’ Nefesh in Jerusalem to plead this case under her very unique reading of the Law of Return, specifically the “hands-on support” she provided to a certain lucky dude in the Israel Defense Force’s Golani Brigade off and on for most of last year. The Daily Freier caught up with Alison at Savidor Bus Terminal as she prepared to take a bus to Jerusalem to present her case.
“I honestly don’t know what the big deal is. I mean I love it here. I really like Passover Seders. I love love love Purim. And besides, Nefesh B’Nefesh already decided to accept your Catholic friend from back home who everyone always thought was kinda Jewish anyway. So there’s like precedent and stuff. Also, I can’t wait to start an Aliyah Blog. Nobody ever does that. It will be unique!”
When the Daily Freier challenged Alison that Aliyah is a difficult task even for Jews and must be supported with documentation, she quickly looked us in the eye and cut us off mid-sentence. “Oh, I’ve earned this. Believe me….. I’ve earned this.”
Meanwhile, the Golani soldier at the center of this case who we’ll call “Yonatan”, could not be reached as he was currently on hardship duty, chaperoning a Birthright trip through the Negev. Yet this case has already had dramatic repercussions beyond Golani to units throughout the IDF. Upon hearing of our heroine Alison’s travails, a spokesperson from the Paratroopers indicated that they have extended Liberty next weekend and will be around Tel Aviv by Thursday….plus they have better boots.
UPDATE: In an unexpected bit of good news, the clerk at the Jewish Agency who received Alison’s application also served in Golani so he fast-tracked her Aliyah package……And Oh by the Way, sent her a very…. personal photo…. via fax.
By Yekutiel Bornstein and Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 9/27/2016 at 5:45 PM
Tel Aviv, LaSalle: Today the Daily Freier shares a story of setbacks, the Triumph of the Human Spirit, and an inability to memorize basic verb forms. Now entering his 8th year in Kita Bet, Oleh Not-So-Hadash Jeff S. is still unable to pass the end of course exam, and is thus trapped inside of the Ulpan Gordon Language School in Tel Aviv. The Daily Freier spoke with Jeff during his 10 AM break.
“I don’t know what I’m doing wrong” wondered Jeff. “It just feels like I’m in some sort of rut. I mean, my Hebrew hasn’t really improved since Obama’s first Term, but then again my conversational Russian and French are really getting good!”
Despite Jeff’s failings as a student, the dedicated faculty have not given up on him. When he finally mastered Past Tense Verbs last year, the teachers threw him a party. “It was kind of like a Bar Mitzvah.” explained Ulpan Gordon’s Principal, wiping away tears. “And when he made the Bracha on the wine, he was just as illiterate as he was back in 2009.”
Unable to graduate and thus depart the premises, Jeff survives from day-to-day on the snack bar, occasional birthday cake, and emergency rations from the U.S. Embassy Citizens’ Services Section. Various Birthright tours passing through drop off messages from his family, as well as Hebrew flashcards.
The years of isolation have taken their toll on Jeff. He currently makes cultural reference from the 2000’s Decade, to include “Friendster“, “You’re Fired“, and “The OC“. He is currently unaware of Post-First Generation iPhones. His “Arrested Development” quotes are still funny though.
Jeff has become somewhat of an institution at Ulpan Gordon. His current teacher, Shirli, is in fact the daughter of his first teacher in 2009, Nava. “B’zrat HaShem, some day my granddaughter or grandson will teach him.” mused Nava. Shirli also shared her mother’s affection for Jeff. “He gets along really well with my family. My five-year old Uri adores him. But lately, Uri’s been expanding his vocabulary and finds their conversations somewhat limited and a bit boring.”
In addition to Jeff’s friendships with the faculty, he has managed to maintain somewhat of a social life as well. In 2010, Jeff dated, married, and got divorced from a French Olah in his class. Nava explained the situation to us. “We held the reception in the auditorium. We had soda, cake, and a slide show. It was actually quite tasteful.” In order to get all sides of the story, the Daily Freier contacted Joane, Jeff’s ex. “I really enjoyed class with Jeff. But he was never there for me to help around the house.” explained Joane.
Many people wonder just how this tragedy has been allowed to go on so long. The Daily Freier contacted the Misrad HaKlitah (Ministry of Absorbtion) to find out. “Normally, recent immigrants are only granted 5 months of free Hebrew lessons.” explained Uzi, from the Front Desk. “But we really just want to see where this ends up. So every 5 months we extend his benefits. We actually have a bit of a betting pool going.” Uzi then lowered his voice to a whisper and leaned in closer to us. “By the way, just curious, but when you saw him, was he able to name all of the Hebrew Vowels yet?”
The Daily Freier then contacted Nefesh B’Nefesh to demand answers on how they allowed this situation to continue. A Dati Leumi woman from their Jerusalem Office named BatSheva or Elisheva or JustSheva answered our phone call. “Whenever an Oleh from North America stays here more than six months without moving back, we consider this a win. So he’s really good for our statistics.”
UPDATE: The IDF mounted a clandestine operation this evening to rescue Jeff from Ulpan Gordon, as they have a Squad Leader position in their Olah Hadashah Code Talker Unit that needs to be filled.
By Emily Goldstein and Yuval Weiss
Last Updated 7/15/2016 at 3:10 PM
Tel Aviv, HaKirya: Responding to published reports, the IDF acknowledged the existence of a previously secret unit: an Olah Hadashah Code Talking unit. Inspired by the famed Navajo Code Talkers of World War II who confused the Japanese Army by speaking in a dialect known only to members of their tribe, there is now a unit comprised specifically of women who have recently immigrated from North America. And Operation Yeleda Lavana has so far been an amazing success, confusing and confounding Israel’s enemies. The Daily Freier was able to somehow secure press credentials and sit in on a Press Conference at the Kirya.
IDF Spokesperson Elad L. explained that despite the natural talents of the recruits, extra training was provided by experts in not being understood in Hebrew, to include Israeli Basketball legend Tal Brody. When asked why there was not a Code Talker unit of Olim Hadashim, Elad explained that there was only so many times that one can say “Bro” in a radio conversation before it loses its meaning. Finally, Elad played an excerpt of an actual radio exchange from the team.
Operator 1: Gimmel Matayim Shalosh? Zot Rachel, Wait, I mean Aleph Arbaim ve Shmonay.
Operator 2: Lo shamati. Lo shamati.
Operator 1: Eych omrim command post?
Operator 2 (whispering): OMG my mefaked is So. Hot.
Unknown Male Voice: Pardon me you Zionist She-Jackals. This is Ali. You know, from Hezbollah. I am sorry to interrupt but I must correct your use of future tense with the Peh-Gronit. You appear to be using the incorrect Binyan in your conversation. It is incredibly difficult for me to even follow this dialogue, and I respectfully ask that you stick to Standard Modern Hebrew. Again, I apologize for the interruption to your hegemonic Zionist conversation. Please continue.
Operator 1: Aval like Lo ivanti?
Elad admitted that Operation Yeleda Lavana experienced a work stoppage this week after the sushi place on Ibn Gavriol stopped delivering.
(Photo Credit: backtotheroots.weebly.com)
By Mia Deych
Last Updated 7/19/2016 at 12:30 PM
Tel Aviv, LaSalle: Taking part in an innovative program of the Misrad HaKlitah aimed at welcoming new Olim and helping them adapt to Israeli culture, famous singer Eyal Golan opens his class in Ulpan Gordon next month. The class will take place once a week and will help students to learn Hebrew in a fun way by translating and singing songs of the popular singer (a Mizrachi style hand clapping tutorial will also be provided).
On behalf of Mr. Golan, his spokesperson Roy told us a bit about the education program, which is rumoured to be quite hands-on. “The program is based on Eyal’s albums and divided into several levels:
1. Look at me (הסתכלי אלי) – Levels Alef and Alef Plus
2. You touched my heart (נגעת לי בלב) – Alef Plus-Plus students, who have learned past tense
3. Soldier of Love (חייל של אהבה) – Level Bet
4. Whisper in the Night (לחישה בלילה) – for Advanced Students, personally selected by Eyal
“This class is more suitable for single women, but other students are also (sort of) welcome.” added Roy. Mr. Golan’s Insurance Provider still has not signed off on his participation, due to certain totally unfounded rumors in the past. However, many female students at Ulpan Gordon are already thrilled and getting ready to hold a protest in Kikar Rabin to support the program.
Are there going to be any tests to join the class? “Eyal looks forward to seeing all students at his classes, but French and South American accents seem to be more inspiring for him. You know, he has already gotten tired of Russian accents.” said Roy after a few free shots (chasers we mean!) of Arak.
By Mia Deych
Last Updated 6/29/2016 at 7:00 AM
Tel Aviv: Let’s be objective – Hebrew isn’t the easiest language to learn. For some reason, “table”(shul’chan) is a boy and “chair” (kisey) is a girl. Kind of sexist, don’t you think so? At the same time, “head” (rosh) is also a boy, but “stomach” (beten) is a girl. And then it’s time to conjugate….
However, the most captivating (and promising) word for new Canadian Olah Emily S. was “Alan”. In fact, Emily thought that Alan was a mysterious, powerful (and hopefully single!) Jew who owns all the bars and falafel kiosks in Tel Aviv.
“No matter where you go, everyone’s greeting is ‘Alan’ which sounds more like ‘Ahla’, but maybe that’s just the accent. Who is that guy? Where can I find him?” wondered Emily, as she kept on wandering from one bar on Dizengoff street to another, until she decided to finally “ask for a friend” on Secret Tel Aviv.
After receiving 27 unrelated questions about a bus schedule on Shabbat, 56 friend requests and 116 messages offering to “Netflix and Chill” in Kfar Saba, she found out that “Ahalan” is just a greeting, meaning “Ugh, another customer is going to eat my brains, what the heck do you want from me?” (Mandatory Spoiler Alert: It actually derives from the word for “Welcome” in Arabic. So entries in the comments section explaining our ignorance are unnecessary…..but still welcome!)
This newfound knowledge definitely didn’t make Emily’s Aliyah struggles any better and she has even started thinking of moving back to Canada. Keep Olim, Nefesh B’Neshesh and some random strangers from Allenby street have decided to help Emily, but they don’t know how. Therefore, we count on your wisdom, dear readers, to help Emily solve her dilemma.