Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Official Our Shiputzim Adar Lexicon

.משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה

When Adar enters, our joy increases.

And nowhere is this truer than in Israel’s schools – especially the yeshiva high schools and ulpanot – where Rosh Chodesh Adar effectively (and in the case of the 12th graders, almost literally*) signifies the end of the school year.

After all, Adar is devoted to, well, Adar and Purim, which are immediately followed by Nissan and Pesach. And then – in rapid succession – come Yom HaAtzma’ut, Lag BaOmer, Yom Yerushalayim, Shavuot, and everything else affiliated with the Omer period. Which, of course, brings us to the official last day of school…

But this post is about Adar itself.

Anglo parents like myself may be unfamiliar with much of the Israeli school system’s Adar-related jargon, and so, the Our Shiputzim Editorial Board is proud to present:

The Official Adar Lexicon

Hachtarah (הכתרה) - Literally, coronation or inauguration. Basically an elaborate Purim shpiel, but also the event at which the Rav or Rabbanit Purim is crowned.  In most schools, this is considered to be the highlight of the senior year.

Shuk Purim (שוק פורים) - Purim carnival. Often serves as a fundraiser – either for charity or for the following year’s hachtarah.

Yerid Purim (יריד פורים) - Purim fair or “boutique” - i.e. a shuk Purim minus the rides and games.

Ulpizmon (אולפיזמון) [aka ”karaoke” (קריוקי), even though no karaoke machines are involved] - A song and dance competition.

Mivtza (מבצע) - Literally, campaign or project. In many ulpanot, each grade level works on a specific mivtza during Adar. The hachtarah, the shuk Purim, and the ulpizmon are all examples of mivtza’im.

Yom HaTalmid (יום התלמיד) - Literally, Student Day. This one applies more to elementary schools, where the 6th graders replace the principal and teachers for a few hours. Most youth groups adopt a similar idea, and the eighth graders (i.e. Shevet HaRo’eh) serve as the madrichim and the kommonarit (the head counselor/chapter director) during Adar.

Shnorrer (שנורר) – From the Yiddish for beggar. The organizers of the shuk Purim (or the yerid Purim) get time off from school to beg to solicit prizes and goods from various vendors.

Can you think of any other Adar terms?


*In many (most? all?) Israeli high schools, the seniors have few – if any – classes after Pesach, so they have plenty of time to drive their parents crazy to study for the bagruyot… :-)


  1. Before we came on aliya, a friend's son told my kids that we should move, because there is only "real school" from after "chanuka vacation until rosh chodesh adar." This has certainly proven to be true!

  2. What about the Gamad ve'Anak??? since during Adar you can eat in lessons, you need something to eat!

  3. You also forgot the Takanon its also good.

  4. Rachel - Adar is bad enough in elementary school. But I'm still shocked at how little studying goes on in high school - especially in the ulpanot!

    MAG and Super MAGMAN - Those are both excellent!

  5. why are MAG and Super MAGMAN in the same line?

  6. Here in Efrat there's always a lot of talk about the harkada - do they have that by you?

  7. MAG,

    My husband works for a large real estate company in TA, and even they have a round of gamad v'anak going on.

  8. Toby - Yup. The harkadah is the highlight of the Rosh Chodesh Adar celebration.

    Rachel - Which begs the question: Does it work any better when adults are involved? :-)

    Maybe I should write a whole post about gamad v'anak...

  9. I learned a new one last week; וועדת טקסט -- vaadat text.

    The team that works together on the Hachtara.

    Similar to Chodesh Irgun, this important va'ada spends hours and hours on preparing the text. My daughter did mention that they managed to invest dozens of hours, but only did about 1 hour of "real" work in order for it to be complete.

  10. Jameel - Ah, yes, the all-important Vaadat Text! Not only is it an indispensable part of the hachtarah, but it serves as a classic Heblishism* as well...

    * For the non-Hebrew/Heblish speakers: The English definition of "the text" is "the script"...


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