Teaching Filipino Heritage Through Language & Culture Classes for Pinoy Kids in Israel

Teaching Filipino Heritage Through Language & Culture Classes for Pinoy Kids in Israel

 9 January 2017 -- The Philippine Embassy in Israel's Filipino Language and Culture Program at Bialik Rogozin International Campus held its first session on 8 January 2017, with the first batch of 80 Filipino children enrolled in the program.

Under the program, two classes will be held for about 40 Filipino children aged 6-8 years old every Sunday afternoon. Another two classes for about 40 children aged 9-12 years old will be held every Wednesday afternoon. The program will be held during the regular school year as an after-school class.


Filipino kids with their paper dolls on the first day of the  Filipino Language and Culture Program, together with the volunteer teachers

The Embassy, led by Ambassador Neal Imperial, partnered with Bialik Rogozin in organizing the program to teach Filipino language skills and cultural awareness to Filipino children born and raised in Israel. About 700 (60%) of the students in Bialik Rogozin are Filipinos and very few of them can speak in Filipino or English.

“We are faced with the challenge of teaching our Filipino heritage to a growing number of Pinoy kids in Tel Aviv who can only speak in Hebrew. We don’t want them to feel like foreigners when they return to the Philippines,” said Imperial.

 The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), with the support of the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, provided training for volunteer teachers from the Filipino community in Israel and select Embassy personnel. Dr. Rosario Alonzo, former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Education and NCCA's language expert, conducted the three-day training in November 2016.

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The volunteer teachers from the Filipino Community and the Philippine Embassy in Israel after the teachers training in Nov 2016 with Dr. Alonzo & Ambassador Imperial (front row, 2nd & 3rd from left, respectively)


The program was initially planned to start with 50 students who would attend 1.5 hours to 2 hours of lessons twice a week in Bialik Rogozin as an after-school program. However, in view of the high number of interested participants, the students have been divided into four classes and will receive weekly lessons.

 Philippine Consul General Pamela Durian – Bailon, who leads the corps of volunteer teachers, thanked the other volunteers composed of Filipinos based in Israel: “Our volunteer teachers, many of whom are parents themselves, know the importance of keeping our Filipino identity and values alive even as they adapt to the local culture in Israel. We thank them for their dedication and zeal.” ---- END