Video: Israeli School Supplies Guide


Today was the first day of school for most children here in Israel. My kids are all in the same schools as last year so the transition has been smooth.

If you’re a new (or not so new) immigrant it might be a different story! The school supplies, especially the notebooks and folders, are not the same as the ones you may have grown up with.  So I made this video to explain. Look for the annotations that have the names of the supplies in English, Hebrew, and transliteration.

Note: I misspoke at minute 3:55. The plastic covers for books, notebooks and workbooks are called atifot. The annotation includes the correction.

Also, I don’t include machberet hachamah, a smart notebook. For first (and sometimes second) graders, they have color coding to make them easier for kids learning to write. If someone can send me a picture I’ll put it up.



Good luck to everyone who started school this week!

You may also enjoy:

School Supply Survival Guide

Scandal of the Schoolbooks

Back to School Shopping Tips, 2010





  1. thanks so much for this timely info!

  2. OMG Hannah, you know I’ve been here for nearly 40 years and I ALWAYS thought you are supposed to write between the DARK lines, not the light ones. Live and learn. Good for you for this video!

  3. BTW, you missed a type of machberet which we learned about recently for special ed, though it used in regular schools as well: Machberet Chachama! I guess the line are diff and the price is higher but I’m not sure about the price as we had ours bought for us.
    Also, in some schools, the teacher will request specific color atifot for machbarot so that all the kids will have the same color for math, torah, madaim etc.

  4. Is that your daughter in the picture? Has to be, she’s the spitting image of you!

  5. Great video! I could have used this when I made aliyah 6 years ago. I was unbelievably confused. Especially about things like a “kalmar” and “tushim” and whatever it is they call the pastel crayons (I forget). This video link should be included in every new oleh’s aliyah tik!

  6. when got my daughter’s list I sat down with a pencil and used google translate to try to figure out the basics. Then I went to a store that sold the books my daughter needed. They were well staffed to deal with the crowd and one of the young women working there got me everything I needed.

    Now Adele wants a rolly backpack with three zippers. She’s 6! She needs to carry a couple workbooks, a couple folders, about 5 little notebooks, her school supplies, and a sandwich. And she has to take it on a bus and up two flights of stairs. How long would a rolly backpack even last if she bumped it up and down the stairs every day??