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Hechalutz  - (Hebrew - pronounced "He-'ha lootz' ), (Hebrew) Zionist movement begun in Eastern Europe to promote agricultural settlement in Palestine. The movement operated training farms where young people could learn the elements of practical farming. The need for this training was evident from the experience of students who had arrived in Palestine unused to the rigors of manual labor.

The movement flourished in Europe until the Nazi conquests. Several training farms were started in the United States as well. However, after World War II, the possibility of easy travel to the new state of Israel, along with the tragic annihilation of European Jews in the Holocaust, rendered Hechalutz more or less superfluous. In the United States, it was disbanded in 1953, but at least one training farm, Hechalutz Farm Shomria, survived in Hightstown New Jersey until the end of the 1960s.

Synonyms and alternate spellings:

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Encyclopedia of the Middle East

Note - This encyclopedia is a work in progress. It is far from complete and is being constructed and improved all the time. If you would like to contribute articles or expansions of existing articles, please contact news (at) mideastweb.org.  Suggestions and corrections are welcome. The concise version of this dictionary is at our Middle East Glossary.

Spelling - Spelling of words in Middle-Eastern languages is often arbitrary. There may be many variants of the same name or word such as Hezbollah, Hizbolla, Hisbolla or Husayn and Hussein. There are some conventions for converting words from Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew There are numerous variant renderings of the same Arabic or Hebrew words, such as "Hizbollah," "Hisbulla" etc. It is not possible to find exact equivalents for several letters. 

Pronunciation - Arabic and Hebrew vowels are pronounced differently than in English. "o" is very short. The "a" is usually pronounced like the "a" in market, sometimes as the "a" in "Arafat."  The " 'A " is guttural.  " 'H "- the 'het ('Hirbeh, 'Hebron, 'Hisbollah') designates a sound somewhat similar to the ch in "loch" in Scots pronunciation, but made by touching the back of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. The CH should be pronounced like Loch, a more assertive consonant than 'het.

The "Gh" combination, and sometimes the "G," designate a deep guttural sound that Westerners may hear approximately as "r." The "r" sound is always formed with the back of the tongue, and is not like the English "r."

More information: Hebrew, Arabic

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