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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
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Where are the American Zionists?

Gedalia

Where are the American Zionists?

It really struck me watching the parade in NYC, why are American Jews not coming in droves to Israel for the summer! Are they scared because of the war? That is understandable but so are their brothers and sisters who live here. But we get beyond being scared, we get proud, we get tough, we grow, we bond, we identify with our past and we know what is our future. What parent wouldn’t want their children to have these values? Instead they teach them to hide when your only Jewish country in the world is under attack?

Why not teach them to volunteer, to come and give strength and spirit to those of us who are here all year long? To help the economy, to go on a kibbutz, to fill in for a soldier who is really risking his life by covering his job – whatever it should be. Come pack lunches, calm the elderly or the Holocaust survivors who take it the hardest.

What is more important, swimming in the lake, horseback riding at camp, getting stoned in the day and drunk at night? I would be much more worried about my children if these were the values I was teaching them.

I left America on my own when I was 19 on the 4th of July 1974. This year marked forty years in Israel. Many kids between 17 – 21 come here on BirthRight and that’s great. (Or at least better than not coming). But there is also Sarel (bet you never even heard of it – http://www.sar-el.org/). These guys are way beyond “Birth Right” they are about “Life Privilege.”

They have plenty of programs, they can handle the numbers. The only thing I can tell you is that the Americans that come here now and spend their summer on a program like this will have a very hard time relating to the frightened kids who hid in the States. Those kids will just be older children while the ones that came to Israel will be men and women.

If you are a parent – you gave your child life. Now it might time to also give them meaning for that li

Volunteers preparing food packages.

Volunteers preparing food packages.

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About the Author: Gedaliah Gurfein moved from New York to Jerusalem in 1974 and received rabbinic ordination in 1979. He has been a teacher at Aish HaTorah and Israelite, both in Jerusalem's Old City. Since 1992 he has worked in Israel's high tech sector and with film media. This article originally appeared in Kol Chevra. For more information, contact emunawitt14@yahoo.com


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133 Responses to “Where are the American Zionists?”

  1. Kathy Boling says:

    I know several who are coming from my synagogue in November…no change of plans unless the planes want bring them…believe me I would come if I had the money…!…I would stay if I could also.

  2. No one is afraid of Hamas except Gazan civilians.

  3. Orthodox Jews and evangelical Christians will keep coming, as always.

  4. Praying for Israel and Jerusalem

  5. In the Bahamas. Why did so many Israelis I know suddenly go on vacation?

  6. Randyll RG says:

    I can’t afford to yet. I only just got out of grad school and started working.

    Israel is on our vacation list, though! Next year will be either Israel or Guatemala (and the other the next Summer).

  7. Randyll RG says:

    Oh, also a friend of mine like… literally just got back o.o

  8. Money is the main reason.

  9. scared, cannot afford it, many too busy to take a vacation b/c they work as much as possible, different priorities. ..

  10. Izik Izik says:

    No one is afriad . we are there and always in support of our home ISRAEL

  11. Just like the yanks

  12. David Cohen says:

    I would have gone long ago, except for the money issue. Birthright is a great idea, but I’m too old by decades.

  13. Kim Sloan says:

    I would love to go to Israel, but money is the reason, and I just can’t afford to go. I support Israel, and I stand with Israel!

  14. Can’t afford it

  15. Marie Parker says:

    Send me tickets for 4 on El Al and I’m there!

  16. Normally we would be there this summer as in summers past. This year we made an unusual (for us) trip in February and will be returning for our daughter’s wedding in early November. No fear of hamas. They are vermin, soon to be exterminated once and for all. Am Yisroel Chai!!!

  17. Well I’m not a Jew but I would come if I could afford it.

  18. Cori LBere says:

    Most of us are just getting by month to month; … thanks to Obama… lost almost every thing ,Homes…jobs. retirements..savings.. and alot of us are getting up in years…

  19. Cori LBere says:

    Most of us are just getting by month to month; … thanks to Obama… lost almost every thing ,Homes…jobs. retirements..savings.. and alot of us are getting up in years…

  20. David Cohen says:

    I’m too old for Birthright but too young for Senior Birthright.

  21. David Cohen says:

    I’m too old for Birthright but too young for Senior Birthright.

  22. David Cohen says:

    I’m too old for Birthright but too young for Senior Birthright.

  23. Ummmm prices are way to high maybe?

  24. Ummmm prices are way to high maybe?

  25. Ummmm prices are way to high maybe?

  26. Joyce G says:

    Money is the reason…Cannot afford it or I would be there in a heartbeat.

  27. Joyce G says:

    Money is the reason…Cannot afford it or I would be there in a heartbeat.

  28. Joyce G says:

    Money is the reason…Cannot afford it or I would be there in a heartbeat.

  29. The US is having hard financial times, not much work, etc.

  30. The US is having hard financial times, not much work, etc.

  31. The US is having hard financial times, not much work, etc.

  32. now I hear the FAA has stopped ALL flights to Israel.

  33. now I hear the FAA has stopped ALL flights to Israel.

  34. now I hear the FAA has stopped ALL flights to Israel.

  35. They are here.. Where we treat them like People.. And proud of them..

  36. They are here.. Where we treat them like People.. And proud of them..

  37. They are here.. Where we treat them like People.. And proud of them..

  38. Jealousy is the main reason … The Jews are smarter by far.. Then the rest.. I say it’s Jealousy!!!! Pure Jealousy!! Good luck my friends!!

  39. Jealousy is the main reason … The Jews are smarter by far.. Then the rest.. I say it’s Jealousy!!!! Pure Jealousy!! Good luck my friends!!

  40. Jealousy is the main reason … The Jews are smarter by far.. Then the rest.. I say it’s Jealousy!!!! Pure Jealousy!! Good luck my friends!!

  41. Loren Renee says:

    Because…. Airfare.

  42. Loren Renee says:

    Because…. Airfare.

  43. Loren Renee says:

    Because…. Airfare.

  44. JoAnn Morris says:

    Vacation this year is scheduled for Oct…..no I am not afraid.

  45. JoAnn Morris says:

    Vacation this year is scheduled for Oct…..no I am not afraid.

  46. JoAnn Morris says:

    Vacation this year is scheduled for Oct…..no I am not afraid.

  47. Smart move to be afraid.

  48. Smart move to be afraid.

  49. Smart move to be afraid.

  50. I have been several times. Every time I have been something has happened before during or after I was there. Don’t be scared. One year I had a front row view from a friends apartment in Jerusalem on Shabbat of rockets in and out of West Bank when Arafat was still around. It will never end till Meshiach comes. Just go and support them if you can afford it. If you can not afford it buy something from Israel, or donate to IDF or other Jewish/Messianic/ or Christian organizations (whatever your religion is) that help the people of Israel. There are so many ways to help. G-d bless Israel! Am Israel Chai!

  51. I have been several times. Every time I have been something has happened before during or after I was there. Don’t be scared. One year I had a front row view from a friends apartment in Jerusalem on Shabbat of rockets in and out of West Bank when Arafat was still around. It will never end till Meshiach comes. Just go and support them if you can afford it. If you can not afford it buy something from Israel, or donate to IDF or other Jewish/Messianic/ or Christian organizations (whatever your religion is) that help the people of Israel. There are so many ways to help. G-d bless Israel! Am Israel Chai!

  52. I have been several times. Every time I have been something has happened before during or after I was there. Don’t be scared. One year I had a front row view from a friends apartment in Jerusalem on Shabbat of rockets in and out of West Bank when Arafat was still around. It will never end till Meshiach comes. Just go and support them if you can afford it. If you can not afford it buy something from Israel, or donate to IDF or other Jewish/Messianic/ or Christian organizations (whatever your religion is) that help the people of Israel. There are so many ways to help. G-d bless Israel! Am Israel Chai!

  53. shabbat shalowm YAHWEH SHALL PROVIDE

  54. shabbat shalowm YAHWEH SHALL PROVIDE

  55. shabbat shalowm YAHWEH SHALL PROVIDE

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