Sunday, June 26, 2011


A timely follow-up to yesterday's Allison Benedikt blogging.

At Jeruslalem Post, "Talking seriously about aliya."
Let’s be honest: English-speaking Jews will not make aliya because you showed them a brochure extolling the financial benefits of immigration.

That’s not because they are waiting for more money, but because it’s not about money.

Young Diaspora Jews in the West are not seeking comfort, but challenge. They don’t want to blindly follow in the footsteps of their parents, but are nevertheless willing to explore Jewish life and tradition as a source of authentic identity. More than anything else, they want to feel that their lives are a product of their own initiative.

(I should know. In 1999, at the age of 18, I left a beloved community in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a red 9- seater Chevrolet Suburban, bought for me by my parents when I learned to drive at 16, in order to join the IDF.)

The real challenge of aliya, therefore, is not bureaucratic. It’s not about reducing the paperwork or improving the benefits package. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine anything that could change the mind of an American Jew, especially a young one, on the question of whether or not to remain American. Hard, but not impossible.

Faced with these facts, we must ask ourselves if we actually know how to bring American Jews on aliya. For the first time, we find ourselves competing for their attention in a completely open marketplace, without the pressure of parents or tradition. Are we up to that challenge?
Go read the rest at that link.

I guess there's a crisis in Israel over the issue of aliyah. Check the article above, but the reference is to the essay by Isi Leibler of Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, "The collapse of Zionist leadership."


Opus #6 said...

Both of my former sister in laws and their families made aliyah. They seem happy.