I am a member of a group of Tel Aviv-based educators that has come together to explore and practice new ways of engaging in Hebrew language study — known as ulpan in Hebrew — with the aim of creating a space for critical discussion on the politics and society in which we have found ourselves. I am a co-founder of This Is Not an Ulpan as well as a learner in it.
Too often, language programs expect learners to act as depositories for information about what is right and wrong, good or bad, done and never done in Israeli society. But our program model is built around the idea that it is imperative that we rethink this training-method of language study, and this goal of absorption into a society, and replace it with dialogue instead. Participants are asked to think about how to fix the problems in the society rather than learn to accept them.