Aliyah-A unique kind of Immigration-Part 2

In my last post, I started the subject: Aliyah – A unique kind of Immigration.

In this post, we will deal with another aspect of the general theme of the unit.

Our subject today is Culture Shock.

Let's talk about it.

  • What is Culture Shock?

Give examples of different traditions – customs (food, clothes, music, weddings, holidays).

Does a newcomer have to give up his customs and traditions in order to become an integral part of the Israeli society?

  • There are no better or superior cultures, but only different cultures. Discuss!


Helpful Vocabulary

integration   –   אינטגרציה – מיזוג

identity   –   זהות

adopt   –   לאמץ

combination   –   שילוב

fashion   –   אופנה

different style   –   סגנון שונה

spices   –   תבלינים

Getting Ready to Read

  • The passage you are about to read is about the adjustment process that many newcomers experience.

Can you predict the main ideas of the passage?

  • Before you start reading the passage, make sure you know the meaning of the following words. (Look them up in the dictionary.)



local customs

average palate


Reading Passage 

Read the following passage and then answer the questions that follow.

1. Sabras are often unable to understand the difficult adjustment process that most newcomers go through. As "natives", they fail to understand how hard it may be to leave your native country, part from your home, family and friends and start a new page in life.

2. Newcomers face many difficulties at every step of the way.  One of the most serious problems is the language barrier. Only after acquiring a basic knowledge of Hebrew, can they communicate with other Israelis, read the headlines in newspapers or understand some of what they hear on the radio.

3. Newcomers have to adjust to a different culture. They must learn to understand the local customs, the life-style of the "natives". The climate is different, even the food may be hard to get used to. It often seems too spicy, too hot for the average palate.

4. There are many practical problems that newcomers face day by day. They must find suitable housing accommodation, employment and proper schooling facilities for their children. Besides, newcomers often feel lonely, detached from families and friends. Finding friends is probably the first step towards feeling at home in the new country.

5. The adjustment process may be long and tiresome. After all, many people find it quite difficult to move from one city to another or even from one house to another, so why wonder at the discomfort or pain felt by newcomers who have made such a drastic change in their lives? It is up to us, the sabras and the veteran immigrants, to help newcomers by offering a friendly hand, a smile, a piece of advice. Let's welcome them by opening our homes and our hearts.


1. Sabras may find it hard to identify with newcomers and their problems (paragraph 1) because

a. they are not natives.

b. the adjustment process is difficult.

c. they have never gone through the same experience.

d. they don't understand the language of the newcomers.

2.  Complete the following sentence (paragraph 2). (One or two words in each space.)

Olim ————————————– with Israelis, read the headlines in ——————————- or even understand what they ——————————— the radio until they acquire a ————————— of Hebrew.

3. Complete the following sentence (paragraph 5).  (One or two words in each space.)

It's easier to understand the —————————————————- of newcomers when we bear in mind how hard ——————— to move from one house —————————–, from ——————————————- to another.

4. The words: Let's welcome them by opening our homes and our hearts (paragraph 5) are:

a. a definition

b. a belief

c. a warning

d. a recommendation

5. Rearrange the following sentences according to the sequence of ideas in the passage.

a. The importance of learning the new language.

b. The need of friendship

c. The adjustment process involved in aliyah

d. Offering a friendly hand

e. Differences between cultures

Reading and Writing Activities

Read the following passage carefully.

The problem is that somebody has mixed up the order of the paragraphs and added sentences that do not belong to the text*. 

Helpful Vocabulary

draft board   –   לשכת גיוס

status   –   מעמד

civic duties   –   חובות אזרחיות

Ministry of Immigrant Absorption   –   המשרד לקליטת עליה

compulsory service   –   שרות חובה

exempt from   –   פטור מ


1. Besides, newcomers are called up only after they have been in Israel for a year at least. Some of them miss their homes. They must report to the draft board, however, within six months of receiving the status of newcomer.

2. The I.D.F. is an integral part of the life of every Israeli citizen. Joining the army is, therefore, one of the civic duties of newcomers and an important step towards their social integration as well. Many newcomers come from Europe. The army is aware of the specific problems pf newcomers and these are taken into consideration during their military service.

3. And yet, military service, although a significant experience, may prove quite difficult for the newcomer. Some newcomers are too old to join the army. The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption assists newcomers in compulsory service by providing financial aid, but it's up to the other soldiers, the Israelis, to help them feel welcome in  the unit.

4. For example, when a newcomer comes to Israel after his eighteenth birthday, his military service is shortened in accordance with his age and family status. He may serve anywhere from four to thirty months. Women over the age of twenty are exempt from military service. Men over the age of 24 are also  exempt from regular service, but required to join the reserves. They all serve close to the borders.

Read the passage carefully. Remember the warning on top!*

  • Rearrange the paragraphs in suitable order.
  • Find the sentences that don't fit in (one in each paragraph) and cross them out.
  • Suggest a suitable title for the passage.
  • Write a short letter (10-15 lines) to a young soldier, a newcomer, who is alone in Israel. Try to offer help and advice.

    You may wish to follow these guidelines:

December 30, 2019

Dear Daniel,

I have got your name and address through —————————–

I understand you arrived in Israel ————— —from ————————————-

I can imagine how hard ——————————————

I am 24. I have a brother your age and my family would be happy ——————————–

We will be very happy to meet you and ————————————

We are truly looking forward to ———————————————-



And that's all for today. More texts and suggestions in my next post.

Lea 🙂



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