A Surprising Path to Hebrew

Blog | 3 min read
Noa Lara Meir, Citizen Cafè teacher
Noa Lara Meir, Citizen Cafè teacher

The range of people who are interested to know how to speak Hebrew will probably surprise you. The Hebrew language is lately becoming one of the most wanted and interesting languages to learn as more and more people find the charm of it and are rushing into language classes to learn the language of the holy land.

What types of people want to learn Hebrew?

If you had to guess who the typical Hebrew students are at Citizen Café, you’d probably assume that the answers fall into one of these three categories:

  • People who made aliyah and want to know how to learn Hebrew.
  • People with Jewish roots who want to more deeply connect to their heritage and to the Hebrew language.
  • People who have Israeli partners and are eager to impress their in-laws with some fancy Hebrew phrases (or just don’t want to feel left out at family dinners).

While we do have plenty of students who fall into one of these categories, you’d be surprised to find out how many unique individuals in our community have their own surprising reason for leaning Hebrew.

All of those people have something in common- the emotional connection to the land and its language. So it might be a little bit easier for them to absorb the language and its phrases. You know how it is, when you have passion for something, the challenges on the way seem so minor.

So Is Hebrew hard to learn?

While the emotional connection can be important to the learning progress- it’s not everything! In its base, Hebrew is not difficult to learn. The thing about the Hebrew language is that it’s unique, it has its own alphabets and the writing is on the opposite side than what we are used to in European or English languages (right to left, and not left to right). But once you get the basics of it, it’s smooth sailing! That’s why it’s important to find a school that will show you how to learn Hebrew in the most efficient and understandable way!
And yes, While we do have plenty of students who already have some understanding of Hebrew (remember those three categories from before?), you’d be surprised to find out how many unique individuals in our community have their own reasons for learning the Hebrew language.
These unexpected stories never cease to intrigue and inspire us, so we thought – why keep them to ourselves?
This week, we want to share with you our student Immilia Eka Pertiwi’s surprising path to Hebrew!

Immilia’s Story

Immilia, a dentist from Surabaya (a picturesque Indonesian city), has no Jewish origins, has never been to Israel, and has actually never met any Israelies in real life. It was a magical force (or perhaps a Covid-19 lockdown) that brought her into our community.

During the Covid lockdowns, Immilia had been looking to unlock some new skills, so, after getting into biking, she randomly chose to start learning Hebrew.

Immilia began learning on her own by watching YouTube videos about the Hebrew alphabet. Although learning Hebrew was no stroll in the park, the more she learned, the more she fell in love with the language and culture. Eventually, she began looking for an online class and decided to continue her Hebrew learning journey with us!

“At Citizen Café, I can finally hear how people talk – I really love how my teachers and friends talk in Hebrew. It sounds like a prayer in my ears,” says Immilia.

Joining an online class boosted Immilia’s motivation. “It feels more addictive when I can understand most of the short Hebrew videos on YouYube”, she says.

Immilia recently joined a small community of Hebrew learners in Indonesia called “Jakarta Hebrew” and she’s certain she’ll visit Israel very soon.

Are you also feeling the urge to learn something new that will fuel you with new energy and excitement? If the answer is YES, you belong with us.

We’ve got new courses opening up this May! Check out our class schedule here and reply to this email to join!

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