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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Aliyah Stories From JTA

(Image Credit: Young Judaea, via

Here are two stories featured on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency regarding Aliyah, or Israeli's returning to their homeland.

The first deals with one actually committing aliyah with the second story highlighting someone encouraging more Jews to do so.

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) Living in Israel had been my dream, but for so many years it wasn't even a consideration. In my practical, secular Jewish family, education was the No. 1 priority. [...]

The Israel dream persisted, however, and I visited an Israeli emissary in my area. We began exploring my options. I wanted an authentic Israeli experience and considered making aliyah immediately, but I didn't want to be a burden on my relatives living in Israel.

Here is the second story...

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) Meeting and living with Jews my age from Israel, the United States and England for nearly a year not only allowed me to expose them more to Israel, it changed my opinions, my perceptions and my life decisions. It also reinforced the ties between Israel and the Diaspora.

The program's purpose is not to introduce these young people to my country. Rather it's to make clear that this is also their country.

Throughout the year, my main goal was to make them stop feeling like tourists and begin to feel at home. I wanted them to see beyond the Kotel, Masada and the Kinneret, to take them to the restaurants I like, to teach them the up-to-date slang, to share my opinions about Israel and politics with them, to bring them home to meet my family and my friends.

Both of these stories help reinforce the difference between Israel and many nations around the world. While most countries usually only display interest in their citizens abroad when they are in danger, Israel seems to be dedicated on bringing back all of their people to the holy land.

Although not everyone will be willing to return to the promise land (as I know some Jews who love living in America) I think all of them should at least visit Israel, as it would give them a cultural taste of who they are in the world.

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