Learning Hebrew

One of the reasons tourists love Israel is that most Israelis are warm and accessible and speak some English; you'll most likely be able to get by without knowing Hebrew. However, if you don't want to be the only person in the room who doesn't understand what everyone else is talking about, try picking up some essential words and phrases as soon as possible.

Photo by Natalia Y. on Unsplash

It is known that embracing a local language opens more accessible communication paths and is a gateway to a world of warm connections and a deeper understanding of the country’s culture. Whether you’re a beginner student of Hebrew or just aiming to polish your skills, we can offer you an abundance of educational resources. If you like studying on your own timetable, you can access various online virtual classes or choose in-person Ulpanim that turn learning into a collective experience with an added bonus of human mingling and “Hevruta” (friendship). Ready to embark on this journey to embrace “Ivrit” (Hebrew) together?

The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Aliyah and Integration - Hebrew Learning Program

What is an “Ulpan”?

Literally translated as a ‘studio,’ an “Ulpan” is an intense Hebrew learning program. It’s a great way to kick off your Aliyah process with a structured schedule in addition to getting acclimated in a place where you can make friends and build a supportive community. Many new immigrants (Olim Chadashim) share similar experiences and feelings while embarking on their journey. Ulpanim are available nationwide throughout the year for Olim and most of them are fully subsidized by the Ministry of Aliyah, the Ministry of Education, and the Jewish Agency.

  • Learning Hours – There are various learning options available, with the most common being the morning Ulpan, where students typically engage in classes 5 days a week, 5 hours per day for 5 months. This symbolizes a triple Hamsa – a palm-shaped amulet of good luck. Additionally, some Ulpanim cater to students during evening hours and hybrid modules, whereas the week is divided into 3 days of studies and 3 days of work.
  • Duration of Ulpan Programs – Ulpan programs typically offers 500 hours of study over approximately 5 months.

For additional information regarding registration to a nearby available Ulpan, check out with your local Aliyah and Absorption Office.

Aliyah and Absorption Office

Types of Ulpanim

Fully Subsidized Ulpanim

Once you have made Aliyah it’s time to start exploring the various possibilities of Ulpanim scattered throughout Israel. This exciting journey will lead you from convenient and flexible online Ulpanim that will fit right into your busy schedule to structured offline possibilities. If you are self-motivated and like studying independently from home or in the company of others, there’s a perfect fit for everyone. Let’s explore some options and embark on an enriching language-learning exploration together.

There are two types of fully Subsidized Ulpanim:

  • City-based Ulpanim
    Nestled within Israel’s bustling cities is a more traditional route for learning Hebrew. City Ulpanim offer various learning options, with the most common being the morning Ulpan, where students typically engage in classes 5 days a week, 5 hours per day for 5 months. Additionally, some Ulpanim cater to students during evening hours and hybrid modules, whereas the week is divided into 3 days of studies and 3 days of work.
  • Kibbutz-based Ulpanim
    If you’d like to experience working the land in the countryside while learning Hebrew, a Kibbutz Ulpan could be the perfect first step in Israel for you. The duration of these subsidized programs is 5 months, often with an option of staying on as a volunteer upon the program’s completion. These Ulpanim accept young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 who are single or married without children. In some cases, the age requirements may differ from one Kibbutz to another.

Privately Owned Ulpanim With Vouchers

In addition to City and Kibbutz Ulpanim, privately operated Hebrew-language study courses are also available.
Without being fully subsidized by the government, reimbursement for a private Ulpan is handled in the following way:

  • 40% of the tuition is reimbursed upon registration.
  • Upon attendance, an additional 30% will be refunded at the halfway point of the course.
  • At the completion of the course, based on a final certificate demonstrating participation from the Education Ministry (Misrad Hachinuch), and 80% attendance, you will be reimbursed the remaining 30% of the entire cost of the program.

Who doesn’t appreciate vouchers? The Ministry of Aliyah and Integration extends financial aid to assist new Olim with their initial arrangements in Israel. This assistance encompasses valuable vouchers, granting Olim access to  privately run Ulpanim. The primary objective of the voucher system is to offer flexibility and backing for the language-learning endeavors of Olim, fostering an optimal environment for linguistic education. It’s like receiving a full scholarship for gaining a popular language skill while creating new friendships.


Leading Ulpanim throughout Israel

Ulpan Etzion

Provides an off-line, real-life intensive 5 month Hebrew study program tailored to new immigrants ('Olim Chadashim') with college degrees, drawing participants from diverse global backgrounds. Fun fact - this Ulpan has also established a reputation as a unique matchmaking haven, known as a great place to find "The One"… with branches in Jerusalem, Haifa, Beer Sheva, and more.
Jerusalem, Haifa, Raanana (An Etzion Plus program provides an optional additional three months of residency), Ramla, Be’er Sheva, Kibbutz Tzuba

Ulpan Morasha

Located in the center of Jerusalem this educational institute implements teaching methods of comparative grammar based on the principles of andrology - a proven system using specialized methods of word memorization and improving memory. The Ulpan also offers evening part-time classes for various levels.

Ulpan Gordon

Caters to a diverse audience with a large variety of classes including conversational classes as well as specialized classes for senior citizens which take into consideration unique requirements and preferences.

Ulpan Lilienblum 7 (Neve Tzedek)

Located off one of Tel Aviv's main arteries, specializing in small, personalized classes. Aside from its courses, it also offers many activities; conferences, film projections, exhibitions and other special events aimed to satisfy the audience visiting and living in the cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv.

Beit Brodetsky

Provides new Olim (singles and couples 21-35 who hold high school diplomas) with comprehensive services like Hebrew skills, employment counselling, trips around Israel, chances to make friends and dormitory living options. It’s located in Tel Aviv's Ramat Aviv neighbourhood, a modern and prestigious area that is home to Tel Aviv University, museums, and parks.

Kibbutz Ulpan Yagur

Situated in the picturesque Carmel Mountain range, Kibbutz Yugur possesses a vibrant community and offers a 5 month program that usually starts in June and December. The Ulpanists work 3 days a week and study 3 days a week, with a break on Shabbat. The Kibbutz is only a short 15-minute drive to Haifa, granting you easy access to the city's bustling cafes, nightclubs, and cultural delights.

Kibbutz Ulpan Etzion Tzuba

In the hills outside Jerusalem, this Kibbutz offers plenty of attractive amenities to its students; a complimentary swimming pool, a TV lounge, and a delightful pub. Hebrew lessons take place 3 days a week and are divided into 2 levels - beginners and advanced - totalling 18-24 hours of studying weekly.

Kibbutz Ulpan Ma'agan Michael

Nestled on the picturesque Mediterranean coast, situated between Tel Aviv and Haifa, this enchanting kibbutz offers an idyllic beachside location for its students. This Ulpan is the largest Kibbutz Ulpan, with 60-72 participants per session. Ulpan students are required to study Hebrew and volunteer at the Kibbutz. The program offers a holistic introductory program to the country including monthly trips around Israel, cultural and educational activities, and more.

Kibbutz Ulpan Sde Eliyahu

Provides both an Israeli and Jewish experience and is ideal for young Jewish adults between ages 18 to 26 with a religious background who seek a tranquil and pastoral atmosphere for study and work. This modern Orthodox kibbutz is not only observant but also offers supplementary "Torah" classes, fostering an environment conducive to spiritual development. Students learn 24 hours a week in class and work 24 hours a week in one of the branches of the kibbutz together with Israelis.

Kibbutz Ulpan Ein Hashofet

Holds the distinction of being the pioneering Kibbutz Ulpan, operating since 1951 and still thriving. Ein Hashofet is located in the enchanting northern Menashe Heights and its Ulpan offers two learning cycles per year commencing in September and March. This study program also includes tours all over Israel, seminars, various lectures and enriching activities.

Ulpan Citizen Cafe TLV

With an all-encompassing curriculum that delves into every aspect of Hebrew grammar, emphasizing listening, speaking and even texting in Hebrew. The various 10-week courses turn Hebrew learning into an exciting, fun, and highly successful experience. It brings you closer to Israeli culture and assists you in developing a natural ability to speak relevant Hebrew for everyday life. Through small, personalized classes Citizen Café offers both campus and online courses available across all time zones.

Ulpan Or

The exclusive provider of Hebrew programs for the IDF (Israel Defence Forces), facilitating the integration of new Olim soldiers into the army through their specialized Hebrew courses. Moreover, Ulpan - Or offers diverse programs to foreign embassies in Israel, catering to the language learning needs of diplomats and embassy personnel.

Ulpan Bayit

Offers an engaging Hebrew school experience with materials sourced from Israeli media, songs and short stories covering various levels from beginners to advance. Led by a team of young professional language teachers, this option provides an excellent choice for individuals looking for small classes and flexible learning schedules.

UAB – Ulpan Aviv Bertele

The first and only ‘Gay’ Ulpan whose teachers are native Hebrew speakers with academic degrees in the Hebrew language. The certified, experienced and passionate team is dedicated to teaching Hebrew as a second language, ensuring a remarkable learning experience for all participants.

Ulpan Aviv

With Ulpan Aviv, you can learn Hebrew online as well as have a teacher come to your location, saving you lots of time. This service is available in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities around Israel. The dynamic and interactive online courses offered by the program are customized to suit each student's unique needs. With a diverse range of materials and subjects covered, students may get personalized and intensive one-to-one sessions with a flexible schedule and quite a few options.

Ulpan La-Inyan

An accessible and time-flexible Ulpan with online or frontal options offering programs in 6 different levels. In their language programs, Ulpan La-Inyan presents a research-based method focusing on the most vital vocabulary for everyday communication. The program highlights real-life situations, reinforced through a well-planned repetitive schedule, ensuring efficient long-term memory recall. Offices are located in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Online Hebrew Studies

Because learning Hebrew in your pajamas is fun.
Due to Covid, education has taken a major shift from classrooms to screens – language learning is no exception. That’s why there is a wide range of popular language-learning platforms and mobile apps that offer free and premium Hebrew courses to users worldwide. These platforms aim to make language learning accessible, fun, and effective for people of all ages and backgrounds. We recommend starting online learning before Aliyah, ensuring a smoother and easier introduction to the language and the ability to begin at a higher level once in an Ulpan in Israel.

The Ministry of Aliyah and Integration offers an ‘Absorbing Hebrew’ program for studying and practising your Hebrew language skills with a range of fun topics.

Below are apps for learning Hebrew:

  1. Learn Hebrew: Pimsleur
  2. Hebrew app for beginners: Mondly
  3. Comprehensive Hebrew app: Rosetta Stone
  4. Podcast lessons: Hebrew Hebrew Pod 101
  5. Find a Hebrew tutor: Italki
  6. Learn Hebrew in context: Mango Languages
  7. Hebrew flashcard app: Memrise
  8. Learn Hebrew for free: Duolingo
  9. Learn Hebrew vocabulary: Drops
  10. Hebrew learning app using games: Ling App


“Absorbing Hebrew” – A Project by the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration

Another great online initiative is the “Absorbing Hebrew” website, operated by the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration (“Misrad Haklita”). It is a crucial component of their “Language Empowerment” initiative. This project is designed to cater to new immigrants (Olim Chadashim) and long-standing residents (Olim Vatikim) looking to improve proficiency in Hebrew. It delves into the historical roots of Hebrew and the cultural insights that the language reveals about Israeli society. The online course is also available for veteran Olim seeking to improve their Hebrew.

Vocational Hebrew Classes

For professionals needing to improve their language skills for working and licensing purposes.

If you speak basic Hebrew and want to better familiarize yourself with the terminology and vocabulary of your field of expertise or to obtain a professional license such as an accountant or physician, the Ministry of Aliyah offers special preparatory courses for job-skill adaptations and professional retraining in Hebrew.

The offered Hebrew classes include:

  • Vocational Hebrew
  • Advanced Hebrew for Regulated Professions
  • Terminological Hebrew

If this interests you, contact the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration’s district office and take a Hebrew knowledge test to check your level before joining a course.

The Ministry of Aliyah and Integration's district office

In-School Hebrew Learning for New Olim Children

There is no better place to learn Hebrew than in an Israeli school.

In Israel, dedicated programs have been implemented to aid new Olim children in learning Hebrew while attending school. These programs focus on improving language proficiency and fostering a smooth integration into the educational system. With a primary objective of enhancing communication skills and facilitating academic success, these initiatives offer essential support to Olim students.

As a parent, one of your “Oleh Chadash” benefits includes extra hours of learning Hebrew for your children in school to assist them with language implementation in a supportive environment.

Sha’ot Olim‘ refers to hours within the school schedule specifically allocated for separate Hebrew language tutoring tailored to new Olim children. The number of hours allocated to your child for Hebrew instruction depends on various factors, including the size of your municipality, the number of new Olim in the municipality, the total number of children in the school, and the proportion of Olim among the students. Some municipalities provide a group Ulpan for all the Olim children in the city. For more information, we recommend to:

  • Consult your municipality counselor
  • Contact the Olim branch at Mirsad Hachinuch directly at: 02-5603620, 02-5603619, or via Email at [email protected]

Biblical Hebrew

Modern Hebrew is derived from its ancient Biblical roots and language.

Modern Hebrew, as we know it, is very different from the original Biblical language, even though the former is based on the latter. Our ancient holy language has recently evoked the interest of a growing audience seeking to learn more about its historical roots, creation a new trend and demand for Biblical Hebrew classes to emerge. Biblical Hebrew is full of double messages and deep meanings, making it widely misinterpreted and highly intriguing to many people. More and more institutions are joining this trend, offering it mainly online for their students.

Below are some available online courses for Biblical Hebrew learning:

  1. Biblical Hebrew – Offers engagement in a series of interactive online activities to reinforce your learning.
  2. Biblical Hebrew Academy Online – A structured approach encompassing linguistic development and insights into key biblical passages.
  3. Ancient Language – Interactive digital textbook and engaging live online classes, to experience the vibrancy of Biblical Hebrew first-hand.
  4. Learn Biblical Hebrew – This course offers online instruction during two evenings each week in session lasting an hour and a half.