web analytics
August 27, 2016 / 23 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Hebrew’

Consistent Use Of Correct Hebrew Proves Man Is Foreign Spy

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

{Originally posted to the satirical website, PreOccupied Territory}

Tel Aviv, July 19 – Investigators in Israeli counterintelligence have caught a foreign agent when the man unwittingly exposed himself by being the only person who used grammatically correct Hebrew, Shin Bet sources reported today.

The man, an employee at a government-owned enterprise in the defense industry, was exposed during a twice-yearly review by Shin Bet officers who determined he could not be the native Israeli and Hebrew speaker he claimed to be, since no Israelis are particular about using the correct grammatical forms in everyday conversation, and most even disregard it in more formal contexts.

A source within the agency, known by its formal acronym Shabak, told reporters on condition of anonymity that reports of a mole within the enterprise had surfaced last year, but that clear evidence of the spy’s activities and identity did not begin to emerge until several months ago. Investigators gradually narrowed the field until it was clear materials were being leaked to foreign interests from a specific unit in the company.

In the guise of conducting an efficiency examination for quality purposes, the Shabak agents posed as consultants and interviewed several dozen staff and supervisors in the suspected unit. “It became pretty clear that the guy we were looking for was sitting in front of us when he started using the right verb form for the third-person feminine plural future,” recalled the agent, rolling his eyes. “I mean, even the radio announcers, who are required to speak a certain way, don’t say ‘telekhna’ when everyone just says ‘yelkhu’.”

Investigators’ ears further perked up when the interviewee actually used the first-person singular future prefix instead of just using the third-person form that everyone has adopted out of sheer laziness and mishearing. “He actually made sure we heard him pause between ‘Ani’ and ‘eshmor’ so we would hear that he wasn’t saying ‘yishmor’ as everyone else would,” said the agent. “That basically clinched it for us. Afterwards we conducted a more thorough background check and found a relative who works for a courier service used by one of the embassies here, and put it all together.” The relative has already confessed to involvement.

“Also, the guy made sure to use masculine numbers with masculine nouns and feminine numbers with feminine nouns,” added the agent, contrasting it with the general practice of using the simpler feminine form for all purposes. “It was just further proof that he didn’t have genuine roots in the country and society. What idiot does that?”

PreOccupied Territory

Hebrew U’s Dr. Yosef Buganim Awarded for Work in Stem Cells

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Dr. Yosef Buganim, a research scientist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has been honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the prestigious journals Science and Science Translational Medicine, and the Boyalife industrial research consortium, for his work in stem cells and regenerative medicine (see Dr. Buganim’s essay Back to basics).

Dr. Buganim is a young researcher who recently joined the Department of Molecular Biology and Cancer Research at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC). Part of the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine, IMRIC is one of the most innovative and multidisciplinary biomedical research organizations in the world.

Awarded for the first time this year, the Boyalife Science & Science Translational Medicine Award in Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine honors researchers for outstanding contributions in stem cell research and regenerative medicine around the globe. AAAS, Science, and Science Translational Medicine joined efforts with Boyalife, an industrial-research consortium formed in Wuxi, China, in 2009, to sponsor the award.  Composed of prominent researchers, the judging panel was co-chaired by a Science and a Science Translational Medicine editor.

At his Hebrew University laboratory, Buganim uses somatic cell conversion models to identify and investigate the elements that facilitate safe and complete nuclear reprogramming. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT, he used single-cell technologies and bioinformatic approaches to shed light on the molecular mechanisms that underlie the reprogramming of somatic cells to iPSCs.

Regenerative medicine is a developing field aimed at regenerating, replacing or engineering human cells, tissues or organs, to establish or restore normal function. Embryonic stem cells have enormous potential in this area because they can differentiate into all cell types in the human body. However, two significant obstacles prevent their immediate use in medicine: ethical issues related to terminating human embryos, and rejection of foreign cells by a patient’s immune system.

In 2006, Japanese researchers discovered that it is possible to reprogram adult cells and return them to their embryonic stage, creating functional embryonic stem-like cells. These cells are known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and constitute a solution to these two obstacles. In addition, these cells provide a good basis for modeling diseases and finding medical solutions, because they can be reproduced from different patients and different diseases.

Despite these cells’ enormous potential, their quality is still not sufficient to be used in clinical practice, and there is a need to find the best protocol that will enable production of high-quality iPSCs that will not endanger patients.

Dr. Buganim’s laboratory has made two major breakthroughs in this area, representing a major step forward in the field of regenerative medicine and transplantation.

Project A: To improve the quality of embryonic stem cells, Dr. Buganim and colleagues conducted bioinformatics analyses which pointed to four new key genes capable of creating iPSCs from skin cells, of superior quality to stem cells in current use. These cells produced in his laboratory (in this case mouse cells) are able to clone a whole mouse at a much higher percentage (80%) than other iPSCs (30%). This test is the most important one determine the quality of the cells.

Project B: Many women suffer recurrent miscarriages and abnormal development of the placenta, which causes fetal growth restriction and in some cases produces children with mental retardation. Dr. Buganim’s lab found the key genes of the placenta stem cells and by expressing them in surplus in skin cells, created placental iPSCs. These cells looked and behaved like natural placental stem cells. Various tests showed that these cells have cell-generating capability in a Petri dish and inside a placenta that develops following a transplant. These cells have potential for use in regenerative medicine in cases of problematic placental functioning. The success of this project may enable women with placenta problems to give birth to healthy children and rescue pregnancies at risk of dysfunctional placenta (see Scientists Convert Skin Cells Into Functional Placenta-Generating Cells).

Alongside creating specific cell types (e.g. nerve cells in patients with Parkinson’s disease, ALS and Alzheimer) from a patient’s skin cells, a potential future use of iPSCs is the creation of whole organs (such as heart, liver or kidney) in a suitable animal model using cells taken from the patient.

JNi.Media

Authors Compose ‘Silly’ Sentences To Help English-Speakers Learn Hebrew

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Can’t recall that the Hebrew word for lightning is “barak”? Yael Breuer and Eyal Shavit have the perfect solution for you. Just remember: “The fastest car in the world belongs to Barack Obama. It goes like lightning.”Kitchen-050616

Breuer – born in Israel but currently living in Brighton, England – has been helping students learn Hebrew with such sentences for over two decades. “They’re silly,” she admits, “but that’s why they’re so fantastic. These kind of ridiculous, funny little sentences just stay in your mind and you remember the word.”

Several years ago, Breuer met Shavit at a gathering of Israeli ex-pats in Brighton and told him about her “silly” sentences. The two soon began composing and exchanging additional sentences for fun, and before they knew it, they had enough material for a book. In 2014, they published Hilarious Hebrew: The Fun and Fast Way to Learn the Language, containing mnemonics for 235 Hebrew words alongside playful illustrations.

“I think it’s a very enjoyable and valuable book,” said Shavit, who is a musician by profession. “It really turns people on to learning Hebrew.”

Mnemonics are especially helpful for English-speakers studying Hebrew, Breuer said, because “there’s no common ground between the languages. It’s not like if you’re Italian learning Spanish or French, where all these languages are connected. It’s completely alien. So, by using this method, the words actually stick in your mind.”

Elephant-050616Breuer said she recently bumped into a student she taught 22 years ago. When she asked her if she remembered her quirky sentences, the student replied, “Are you kidding me? These sentences are going with me to the grave!” and immediately cited one of Breuer’s oldest creations: “That’s a lovely house! I think I’m going to buy it” – bayit being the Hebrew word for house.

With Hilarious Hebrew now in its third printing, Breuer said she is unsure whether she and Shavit will collaborate on a volume two. The duo, however, occasionally post new mnemonics on their book’s Facebook page and Twitter account. One of their most recent, she said, is “I really feel like going to Bali” – “ba li” being slang for “I feel like.”

Additionally, Breuer said the pair are assisting a French woman who approached them about composing a similar book for French speakers. “Someone suggested we do a Chinese one. So who knows?” Breuer said.

In the meantime, the two are enjoying the positive response their work has received – the Jewish Agency in London liked it so much that it gave the book to new olim last summer as a gift, Breuer said – and continue to compose additional mnemonics.

“We are making up new sentence all the time,” Breuer said. “We can’t help it basically.”

For more information, visit www.HilariousHebrew.com.

Elliot Resnick

RASG Hebrew Academy Present ‘The Odd Couple’

Monday, April 25th, 2016

The RASG Hebrew Academy of Miami Beach presented its annual spring production on April 3 in the school’s west-campus auditorium. This year’s play was directed by Sarah Berman, a faculty member with a degree in theatre. She has worked as a casting assistant for TV and film on projects including “Burn Notice,” “Magic City,” “Graceland,” “The Glades,” and “Iron Man.”

Mrs. Berman gives all the credit for the success of the play to her dedicated students. They not only were called on to act but also to paint the sets and supply costumes and props. Their hard work paid off. The enjoyable comedy was a resounding hit.

RASG Hebrew Academy's production of Neil Simon's ‘The Odd Couple.’

RASG Hebrew Academy’s production of Neil Simon’s ‘The Odd Couple.’

Beman says, “I chose ‘The Odd Couple’ for this year because it is a fun, lighthearted, and iconic tale. The audience gets to witness two conflicting personalities at their best and worst. Though the play was written and is set in the 1960s, it transcends time. Everyone knows a Felix and an Oscar. Most of the cast members are seniors, and college dorm life is eminent. I think there is much to learn from the situation the play presented.”

Cast members were Danny Bister as Felix, Daniel Ben Avner as Oscar, Tehila Moore as Gwendolyn, Rena Kahn as Cecily, Jack Benveniste-Plitt as Murray, Brian Garcia as Vinnie, Sara Fuchs as Roxy, and Jacob Mitrani as Speed.

The RASG Hebrew Academy is a Modern Orthodox Jewish day school that has proudly served the South Florida community for nearly seventy years. The school strives to inspire students through the light of the Torah and academic excellence. For more information call 305-532-6421.

Shelley Benveniste

Shanghai Magnet School Offering Hebrew, Language of the ‘Smart People’

Friday, October 9th, 2015

(JNi.media) Benjamin Peng, a Shanghai-based observer Israel-China ties and a consultant on Israeli Hi-tech investment, reported recently that a magnet, 9-year primary school in Shanghai’s Hongkou District is offering a Hebrew language classes, as part of an effort to increase students’ interests in “minority languages.” The class is being taught by Israeli teacher Miri Beck-Freund, a graduate of the Levinsky College of Education in Tel Aviv.

According to Peng, Chinese people are curious about Israel and have positive feelings about Jews and the Jewish state. “In China, it is fair to say, Israeli people are perceived, generally, as very smart people,” Peng reports.The Shanghai Evergreen school is offering Hebrew to fourth graders, who are expected to keep with the course until the eighth grade. Classed involve group learning through games, animation videos, and what Peng defines as “culture experiencing.”

With 57 classrooms, close to 2,600 students, and 176 faculty members including 106 senior teachers, Evergreen is the largest nine-year school in the area. Classrooms computer networked, there’s a television studio producing school-related programming, electronic meeting rooms, an indoor gymnasium, and state of the art labs. The school campus is beautiful, with a rock garden, fountains, pavilions and sculptures.

“The China-Israel relationship has been getting closer and closer, and today Chinese companies are also undertaking more and more investment activities in Israel,” according to Peng, who occasionally blogs for the Times of Israel. It appears that Shanghai, which served as a safe haven for thousands of eastern European Jews in WW2, is especially interested in Israel, and a large portion of Chinese investments in Israeli startup projects have come from Shnghai-based investors. Pengs says Shanghai today is “the most dynamic international financial center in China.”

JNi.Media

Coalition Runs Away from Elections and Delays Vote on Jewish State Bill

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has decided to postpone a scheduled vote this week on the “Jewish State Bill,” during which time he will try to come up with a version that is acceptable to coalition partners, who does not want to see the government fall and then have to risk serious losses in new elections.

As The Jewish Press reported here and here, the media mania over early elections – two years before the government’s term ends – makes great headlines but is mostly wishful thinking by Netanyahu’s enemies, which include the establishment print and electronic media and his coalition “partners.”

The largest party in the government after the Likud is Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid. He has said he could back a milder version of the Jewish State idea, which has been resented in three versions.

The bill has given Israel a huge black eye around the world, mainly because most people don’t have a clue what they are talking about or simply decide that calling Israel a “Jewish” state means it will be less of a “democratic” state.

If “democracy” means a form of government, the bill changes nothing, but “democracy” has become one of those holy terms, like ”human rights” and “freedom [to kill, incite, be a traitor or simply blow up the world]” that people toss around to support their agenda.

The arguments over the bill have become a joke, mainly because the coalition leaders are using it to make themselves popular among their supporters while knowing that if they go to the polls, the entire country will be angry at everyone for a useless exercise that, barring a change in the rotation of the Earth, will leave Netanyahu in power and Lapid and Tzipi Livni with less seats in the Knesset.

The Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, likely would gain seats, making the coalition even more right wing than it is now.

The strongest version of the Jewish State bill, which might not pass the test of Israel’s left-leaning Supreme Court, would leave Hebrew as the only official language and would downgrade Arabic to having a special status.”

It also would define the country as aiming to “settle Jews’ in Israel, without any mention of Arabs. Of course, that is exactly what Israel does anyway, put putting it writing is somehow “undemocratic.”

It also is meaningless. It is like stating that the country should “try to encourage everyone to be vegetarian.”

A milder version of the bill ignores the issue of language and settling Jews, and it does not refer to vegetarians or those who are carnivorous.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Aliyah and the Gifted Child

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

As an education writer for the nonprofit organization, Kars4Kids, and as someone who made Aliyah from Pittsburgh 34 years ago, I decided to write about the challenges of Aliyah from western countries with school age children. See the previous piece in this series, Aliyah and the Special Needs Educator. Today I interview Rachel Moore of Neve Daniel.

Varda: Tell me about yourself, Rachel.

Rachel Moore

Rachel Moore

Rachel: I am 41 years old, expecting my 8th child. I have been working in PR and communications for the past 17 years in government and the non-profit world. I blog, sing, and study Torah whenever I can grab an opportunity.

Varda: When did you make Aliyah? How many children did you bring with you and what were their ages?

Rachel: I made Aliyah in 1995 at 22. However, I left again in 2000 and spent 12 years back in the U.S. for personal reasons, and only moved back in July of 2012.

My second time settling here was truly Aliyah for my children, who at the time were 12, 11, 11, 9, 7 and 4.

My eldest is my stepson, 19, who is a sophomore at Rutgers University in the U.S. He did not move here with us. My other 6 children are now 13, 12 year-old twins, 10, 8 and 5, and I am due with another one – today, actually[Rachel had her baby that evening, a little boy! V.E.].

Varda: Tell me about your children. What are their difficulties?

Rachel: We have at least two children who have been classified as “gifted” outside of Israel, and meeting their needs is a challenge, and also requires learning the system. In addition, I have one daughter who I suspect as having ADHD, but she hasn’t been classified – yet.

Varda: Where do they go to school?

The newest addition to the Moore family.

The newest addition to the Moore family.

Rachel: My 13 year-old daughter attends Orot Etzion girls’ school. My 12 year-old twin boys attend Horev High School (7th grade), my 10 year-old son attends Carmei Yehuda, Mamad Hativa Bogeret boys’ school in Alon Shvut, my 8 year-old daughter attends Shirat Chanan, Mamad Hativa Tzeira in Alon Shvut, and my 5 year-old attends the Mechina of Orot Etzion in Neve Daniel.

Varda: Do your children receive additional help outside of school?

Rachel: My daughter with [suspected] ADHD sees a therapist (in English) outside of school that specializes in children with this disability. My 10 year-old son is now enrolled in a gifted pull-out program in Efrat once a week called Afikim [Eligibility is determined by both written and oral tests and only 1.5% of students are accepted], and is in mitzuyanut [gifted class]within school. We had to get him special permission to take the test to qualify for Afikim at the beginning of 5th grade, because the test is usually given in 2nd grade.

We believe that our 2nd grader would have qualified [as gifted] the year we moved here, but we didn’t know she had the option to take the test in English or with translation help. No one had explained this to us, so she took it with the rest of the class. We may still pursue an appeal so that she can retake the test, but it will probably be an uphill battle.

Varda: What out-of-pocket expenses do you have in educating your children and what is covered by the state?

Varda Meyers Epstein

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/ear-to-the-ground/aliyah-and-the-gifted-child/2013/12/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: