How NOT to Welcome George

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Maale Adumim is a beautiful city. More, it loves to welcome guests and show them around. We have a powerful mayor, who has powerful friends and we are graced with a larger-than-average anglo community. These are people who moved here, love this country, and welcome the opportunity to join in building the city’s future.

There’s just one problem. Too often, the anglo community stays within itself. It has its own lists and its own groups. And yes, it has its own events. In the predominantly religious neighborhood in which I live, there are synagogues that cater more to the anglo community and ones that attract the Hebrew-speaking residents.

Every year, we come together for major celebrations such as independence day and other national holidays. And then, too often, it’s right back to our caves. For those of us who consider ourselves bi-lingual or close to is, this split reality is upsetting, depressing and sometimes annoying. From both sides. Too often, the city doesn’t recognize the talents that we English speakers bring forward. Too often, anglo residents demand English-speaking representation as some right rather than as some additional service.

Sign at Entrance to Maale Adumim

And so, it comes to this. Surprisingly, I’ll admit that I didn’t know who George Schaeffer is. So, searching Google got me 14 million results to his name. Luckily, adding “Maale Adumim” to the search narrowed it down to 3,410 and gave me a strong feeling that George (not Gerorge) would be honored to be named a citizen (not a citizien) our out city.

Yes, I’m proud that they managed to spell the name of our city correctly and cringe that they didn’t think to look up how to spell “welcome” – and no, welcome does not have two Ls in it.

But more, I’m saddened that with all the anglos in the city, no one thought it important enough to say, “hey, George is coming to the city. We really want to make sign welcoming him. Any chance we could run the text by you?”

Instead, it comes down to a bunch of anglos laughing as they pass the gate. Wellcomes? Can you imagine? Seriously, OMG, his name is GEORGE.

And by now, I’m sure the city has realized its mistake. For all we know. George has come and gone; hopefully using a different gate to enter the city.

But really, what I’m left with is sadness. Why does the city value our potential input so little? And, wouldn’t it have made sense to just ask anyone of a few thousand English-speakers?

Maale Adumim Welcomes Mr. George Schaeffer, Honorary Citizen of the City

In the end, all we can do is hope that George realizes that we are grateful for his contributions, even if we didn’t manage to even get his name right.

Honestly, it’s a lovely Culture Hall and thousands of citizens enjoy events held there every year.

Oh yeah, on behalf of the city, we apologize for the sign…

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5 Comments

  1. Zev Farkas

    Many years ago, I posted an ad on the web offering English proofreading for Israelis. The only responses I remember getting were from a few Anglos who thought I was seeking proofreaders. Amazing how much the locals pay for things like signs without running them past someone who knows how to spell in English, with all its complications and pretzel-logic.

  2. Anonymous

    It is quite simple. Israelis don’t ask because they know they are right. It does not occur to them that they could make a spelling mistake. One would not believe the number of times that I had 4th and 5th graders argue with me that I was misspelling a word on the board and they knew they were right because their mother told them it was spelled that way…..

  3. Netivotgirl

    WHAT A BOOSHA! Ridiculous! In Netivot we have a street dedicated to our IDF air force which is spelled, “HEIL Avir” like Heil Hitler! (I once mentioned this to our mayor!!) Why don’t they ask anglos? *sigh*

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