The Serial Tourist's Guide to Living in Jerusalem
Hebrew Kindle eBooks
The first Hebrew paper I subscribed to and learned most of my newspaper Hebrew
from was "Israel Shelanu" which was published in Canada, of all places:-)
It was about $50 a year, delivered, and I took it and read very night in
a coffee shop for that time. It was a weekly, as is "Sha'ar Lamat'hil' (gateway
to the beginner), which is pictured to the left. Unlike Israel Shelanu, Sha'ar
Lamat'hil is written and edited for beginning Hebrew readers. I've never
subscribed myself, but I used to tutor a student who was subscribed for years
in the U.S., and often we just read that paper together. As a beginners
newspaper, it includes vowels (nikudot) and is written with a basic vocabulary.
When new words or words the editors deem difficult are introduced, they are
explained with easier words in parenthesis (curved lines containing comments),
and repeated in subsequent stories and editions. The back page of the paper
is written in super-easy Hebrew for the real beginner, but some of the culture
or editorial stories on the inside are printed without nikudot. The issue
I bought for this writing was 16 pages long.
I'll give the current subscription information for the U.S. It's distributed
by Bay Marketing Inc, 1300 Metropolitan Ave. Brooklyn, N.Y. 11237. Tel. (718)
386-3400. The subscription phone in Israel is 1-800-38-91-91. They have a
website I've never visited at
www.slamathil.co.il. I think it's
a great place to start learning newspaper Hebrew and fun way to practice
reading skills, but two minor caveats. First, most people don't speak in
newspaper Hebrew, which contains lots of passive language and almost no
conversation unless an interview is being reported. Second, you may find
the first few weeks difficult as you learn some vocabulary words that are
necessary for news, relating to politics, crime and the economy, which aren't
usually included in beginning Hebrew classes, which focus on conversational
skills.In the picture to the right, a blow-up of the lead story, you can
see the word "tome'him" explained in parenthisis as "hem bi'ad", or in English,
"support" is explained as "they are for." In the bottom line of the blow-up,
the word "ho'rahot" is explained as "pikoodote", or in English, "instructions"
is explained as "orders."
The New York Times of Israel, i.e., the supposed paper of record, is Ha-Aretz.
Ha-Aretz is written in very good Hebrew and some of the columnists go over
the top a bit on literary allusions, but the actual news stories are no harder
to read than the other Hebrew newspapers once you get used to the style.
Ha-Aretz also publishes an English version which is sold with the Herald.
I would term both of these newspapers as being left-wing in their editorial
views, and I wouldn't be alone. In fact, despite being the paper of record,
Ha-Aretz has a pretty low readership, and I've been told that they don't
pay well since they are able to attract journalists and columnists who want
to appear in the pages there. No idea whether or not that's true. I tend
to buy Ha-Aretz on Friday for two reasons. First, you just get a lot more
news stories to choose from than you do in the tabloid style papers, and
more to read. Second, you get Kol HaIr free when you buy Ha-Aretz.
The most popular Hebrew newspaper in Israel is Yidiyot Achronot. Some competing
Anglo newspaper types with a sense of humor refer to Yidiyot Achronot as
"The Last Idiot", but of course it mean, "The Latest News." It's written
in a somewhat more conversational and sensationalistic style than Ha-Aretz,
at least when it comes to crime and war. On politics, I think they are pretty
middle of the road, which would explain why they have something on the order
of 70% of the Hebrew paper readership, if I recall. They have many popular
feature writers, one of whom went on to form a political party that was a
major player in government for a couple Kinnesets. The number two Hebrew
paper in Israel is Maariv, which I believe gets something over 20% of the
readership, so you can guess what's left for Ha-Aretz. I used to read Maariv
because I thought they had one of the better daily business section, and
I enjoyed the little science stories they would work in. Both of the tabloids
manage to work some pictures of pretty girls in on a regular basis, often
soldiers doing something or another, not the cheesecake stuff popular in
tabloids in some other countries.
The oldest English paper published in Israel is the Jerusalem Post, which
is also available in International editions,
online, and in French! The Jerusalem Post
is a bit of a counterweight to Ha-Aretz, in that it's editorial position
is probably to the right of the mainstream Hebrew papers. Most English speakers
I know take the Jerusalem Post of the Herald because the Herald/Ha-Artez
combination is difficult to stomach. The Post is not a particularly long
paper so I usually read it cover to cover when I get it, barring some of
the columnists who write first person drivel like me. They have a pretty
good sports section, but since the Sunday paper in Israel comes out on Friday
(you know what I mean) there's rarely much football (real NFL football) news
in it. It's good for keeping up with NBA basketball, because you won't see
many games in Israel unless you have a special cable package. The Monday
Post has a good football roundup, but I'm not inclined to buy the paper just
for that. There are also a number of religious sector newspapers, in Hebrew,
and some big production Russian newspapers, which I assume get some syndicated
content from Russia, but I could be wrong.
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