A lesson in life and learning

My name is Daphne and I am a first-year BA (Psychology) student.

This past year I volunteered in Telfed’s PRAS Scholarship programme as a Hebrew tutor. Through the experience I have taught and learned. Conjugating verbs is central to Hebrew grammar and the בניינים or forms reflect tense, mood, gender and number. Through these forms, I will relate to my experience with PRAS.

Pa’al form (simple, active), learning / בניין פעל, ללמוד – למידה
This past year I volunteered in an ulpan, where Olim Chadashim (new immigrants) learn Hebrew as a second language as they start their lives in Israel. In my weekly sessions with the students we practiced reading and spent most of the time practicing spoken Hebrew.

Nifa’al form (simple, passive) excited / בניין נפעל, נרגש
Like many students my schedule is busy but despite that I was excited for my weekly meetings with the ulpan students.

Hifi’il form (causative, active) to feel / בניין הפעיל, להרגיש
Both my parents made Aliyah for ideological reasons. My father is from South Africa and joined the IDF as a lone soldier and my mother is from the United States. I was taught from a young age that living in Israel is a privilege and never to take our amazing country for granted. When I first heard about Telfed I had no doubt that I wanted to participate in their scholarship programme. Through PRAS I was able to put my feelings about Aliyah and Israel into action.

Hufa’al + pua’al forms (causative + intensive, passive) to be raised/ lifted + to get stronger / הפועל ,הורם + בניין פועל, חוזק בניין
As a volunteer in an ulpan, I saw how learning Hebrew empowers Olim. At the start of the year my students were all beginners. As their Hebrew level has gotten stronger and improved dramatically they are able to be more independent.

Pie’el forms (intensive, active) to serve / בניין פיעל, לשרת
I served as a commander during my army service and taught Hebrew to lone soldiers. Some of these solders didn’t have any family in Israel. Nonetheless, they still felt that it was their duty as Jews to serve in the IDF.

Hitpae’el form (reflexive), to acclimate / התפעל, להתאקלם
I truly think Telfed does an outstanding job helping Olim to successfully acclimate to life in Israel. PRAS students help kids who are new to Israel with their integration, they spend time with kids with special needs so that parents can have a few hours to rest; or they spend time with the elderly, keeping them company. These activities help the Olim acclimate into Israeli culture and society.

The PRAS scholarship programme is especially meaningful as we assist “new” Israelis whose love of Israel has led them to uproot their lives and move to Israel. This has been a unique opportunity to help others and add value to my university experience while receiving assistance from Telfed (without which, I would not have been able to afford my tuition fees).

To learn more about the PRAS scholarship programme, visit https://www.telfed.org.il/pras/. If you are making Aliyah, you can apply online to be a PRAS client.

170 PRAS scholarship recipients participated in the opening seminar at the IDC, Herzliya. Students received training on volunteering with Olim families, children with special needs and the elderly.

Telfed www.telfed.org.il

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