Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
This is the 17th part of a series on Aliyah and Klita (absorption) stories of American Jews who came to Israel for ideological and religious reasons in the past years. The purpose of the series is to emphasize the quality of the early olim to Israel from America, and to disprove the thesis that olim in the early years of the state were unsuccessful shnorrers.
Many Israelis are dreading the march of time as the days of “disengagement” approach. It is hard to understand the logic of the capitulation to the terrorists in return for absolutely nothing. America pressures Israel to abandon its communities and transfer its citizens from their homes, Europe pressures Israel, the entire world pressures Israel. Do they all really believe that the same terrorists that threaten Europe and the United States will live in peace with Israel? Would they really pressure us if we were not Jews?
America refuses to compromise with Iraqi or Afghanistan terrorists, yet we are forced by them to give away our homes to the Arab terrorists. Pray for us.
Moshe and Hadassa Goldberg came on aliyah in October 1963, with their daughter, Leah, who was six months old. After Moshe received his masters from MIT in Chemical Engineering, they came to Haifa so that Moshe could attend the Technion where he received his PhD in Chemical Engineering. For the last 42 years, they have lived in Haifa and had three more children, their sabras.
Throughout the years, Moshe worked in various high tech jobs. He was the first in his field to put Chemical Engineering onto the computer. Eventually, he branched out into the computer field and worked on super computers. Moshe’s last job before retiring half a year ago was Manager of High Performance Computing in the Technion computer center.
Hadassa worked at various odd jobs from her home while the children were very young; jobs such as: teaching sewing, tutoring students in math and English and teaching Judaism to women converts. Twenty-six years ago, Hadassa started working in Emunah, the Women’s Religious Organization. Two years later, she went to work in the Technion Central Library where she eventually became head of the Document Supply and Inter-Library Loan Dept.
Today, all four of their children are happily married and live in Israel. Leah (who is a high school math teacher) lives with her husband, Yossi (lawyer), and their four children in Mitzpe Hoshaya. (Their oldest son is now serving in the army.) Chaim (a rabbi teacher in a yeshiva high school) lives with his wife, Naama (Sherut Leumi regional director), and their six children in the Pesagot settlement. Shai (physicist, computer programmer) lives with his wife, Rivka (elementary school teacher), and their five children in Mitzpe Netufa. Miri (speech therapist) lives with her husband, Yikhat (book editor and teacher), and their five children in Kiryat Malachi.
Last year, Hadassa and her sister, Sarah Goodman, published a book, Fleeing Europe about their family’s miraculous escape from Europe during the Holocaust.
* * *
Yitzchak and Miriam Fischer arrived in Israel in 1995 from Baltimore, Maryland and live in Raanana. Yitzchak has a BSc in natural sciences from Towson State University in Maryland, and is internationally certified as an expert in both safety and industrial hygiene by the respective American boards. Miriam has a BSc in math from Lehman College in New York and they both have second BA degrees in accounting from the University of Baltimore.
In America, Yitzchak had a successful consulting firm in industrial hygiene and safety in the Maryland area, employing 12 people. Miriam had a successful cleaning company employing 10 people. In Israel, Miriam handles international projects and communication for a medical equipment importer and distributor. Yitzchak has consulted on several projects and then became the manager of safety for the construction of the Cross Israel Highway.
With Yitzchak’s help, the highway authority achieved levels of safety in construction compliance, never dreamed of for such a project. As a consultant, he was instrumental in preventing the construction of a “kiddie park” utilizing asbestos waste on the northern Mediterranean coast.
Yitzchak and Miriam’s eldest son, Moshe Eliezer, studied in Kerem B’Yavne Yeshiva, Yeshiva University and the Gush. He is on shlichut with his wife and two children to the University of Maryland. He has semicha from the Rabanut, an MS in education from Y.U., and they are building a home in Modiin for their return home. Their daughter, Yael has a BSc in physics. She and her husband, Rabbi Yaakov, and their three children live in Matityahu, where Yaakov learns in the kollel and works as an administrator.
Their daughter, Elana, has a BA and works for Tehilla, and their son-in-law, Meir, learns at Yeshivat Hakotel (third year of Hesder service). They live in Jerusalem and have two daughters. Their daughter, Ariella, did two years of Sherut Leumi and she studies at Givat Washington. The daughter, Bracha, also served in Sherut Leumi.
Yitzchak was loathe to write about the family’s achievements. He felt that the critics of the previous aliyot to Israel completely missed the point. “One can no more assess the success of aliyah by gashmius milestones then one can assess the capacity of a swimming pool in kilowatts!” He believes that anyone who left the gashmi (materialistic) world of the United States, a truly wonderful and benevolent country and society, which is more just and kind to her citizens then any other country in the world, for a more spiritual world of Eretz Yisrael, is a success. He also believes that those who came to Israel many years ago were far greater heroes. They gave up real gashmius for tremendous hardships.
They waited in lines at pay-phones to hear a few words from loved ones left behind because not many homes had their own telephones. They put up with overbearing bureaucracies and “third world” efficiencies and mentalities, so they could live in Israel. They gave up careers and high paying jobs to be part of the A’dchalta D’geula and help build a great and wonderful country in a very unfriendly neighborhood.
They paved the way for followers far less brave and self sacrificing, to come and live, and GROW, here. Many of them paid a horrendous price in human suffering and loss. None of this can be in any way measured by the gashmeusdika milestones of the outside world known as chutz l’aretz.
Yitzchak expresses that he is truly happy for those who are now managing to get much gashmius from their aliyah today, and he is sure that in spite of the gashmius, they will all experience the wonderful spiritual existence that is part of Am Yisrael, in Eretz Yisrael. He believes that their children will experience the difference. Each Jewish soul that plants itself in Eretz Yisrael contributes greatly to the whole. Each North American adds a great deal, in ways that Jews from other parts of the world cannot.
Those living in Israel cannot fault those who live outside of Israel for assessing us in gashmi terms. That is the language they speak there. When they finally come home, they will understand the difference. Let’s hope it will be sooner rather than later.
(To Be Continued)
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I first met Mandela in Geneva in 1990 as part of a delegation of American Jewish leaders.
How much wealth exists in the American Orthodox community?
They didn’t have to ask twice – I was there.
Despite the interim agreement between Iran and several world powers, which provides for a softening of sanctions in return for a curtailment of elements of the Iranian nuclear development program, many members of Congress have resisted calls from the White House to defer legislation that would impose increased sanctions on Iran should a satisfactory final agreement not be reached or the Iranians fail to adhere to the temporary deal.
The Jewish Press raised some eyebrows with its endorsement of Bill de Blasio in the New York City mayoral election. After all, the editorial positions we’ve taken over the years are not particularly compatible with Mr. de Blasio’s liberal track record.
Filling two vacuums at once – one of Orthodox women taking a more public role and a second of Modern Orthodox Jews demonstrating the merits of religious Jewish practice – Allison Josephs has transformed her sweet and engaging webisodes and blog into a larger force. Jew in the City is now a franchise.
Yossi Klein Halevi’s Like Dreamers (Harper) explores the lives of seven Israeli paratroopers in the Six-Day War who, his subtitle suggests, “Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation.” It offers a fascinating variation on the theme of Israel at a fateful crossroads, in search of itself, following the wondrously unifying moment at the Western Wall in June 1967 when Jewish national sovereignty in Jerusalem was restored for the first time in nineteen centuries.
Although she survived the attack, she was demonized on Egypt’s talk shows for the violence she endured.
With the conclusion of the Syrian fiasco, the Obama administration had to turn it’s attention to a more imminent threat.
Adebolajo said there was an ongoing “war between Muslims and the British people” and he was a “soldier of Allah.”
The Saudis are signaling that they will unleash a pre-emptive war in the Middle East.
The less you know about Islam, the better. Ignorance is strength.
The topics are “The Reagan Strategy,” and the “Iran Time Bomb.”
The fact that ObamaCare was sold with lies multiplies the political resonance tenfold.
It really is time for painful sacrifices for peace. No one wants his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to suffer the pangs of war and strife. It is time to end the strife and make peace in the Middle East.
Israel is a country that understands security concerns. Many civil rights have been sacrificed in the name of security and Israelis are used to being checked every time they enter a shopping center, a large store or any public building. Americans recently learned that they, too, are subject to many checks on their most private activities.
The Israeli Parliament is usually controlled by a coalition of different political parties because no one party receives enough votes to have a majority. Unlike in the U.S., where there are two major political parties and one of the two political parties commands a majority of the seats in the Senate and/or in the House, in Israel the government is composed of many, many small political parties, each pushing its own agenda.
The title above is a lovely thought. Unfortunately, there are too many times when Israeli Orthodox Jews behave in very divisive ways. I have mentioned, on occasion, that it would most probably bring the Mashiach if Orthodox Jews in Israel were ever to unite. We are so divided politically that Sephardi Jews will not support Ashkenazi Jews and Ultra-Orthodox Jews will not work with the Modern Orthodox or with the Zionist Orthodox.
Israel recently commemorated Memorial Day in memory of its fallen heroes. Sadness permeates the day as we remember the sons, daughters and parents who have sacrificed their lives so that the Jewish Nation can continue to exist.
The title of this article is the supposed motto of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago, but for Americans living in Israel it means, literally, vote twice. Both Israel and America are holding important elections and, hopefully, most Orthodox Jews will be voting. The United States will be holding its regular four-year elections for president and many other offices, and Israel will be voting for an entire “new” Parliament (Knesset).
We left Reno, Nevada, early Sunday morning and decided to take the scenic route to Salt Lake City, rather than travel by super highway, but Route 50 turned out to be not very scenic as we crossed Nevada and Utah. We stopped at a roadside table at noon, where the men heated and ate LaBriute meals while the women enjoyed their cottage cheese, peanut butter sandwiches, fruit and vegetables. We have followed this pattern of meals ever since the women decided not to eat the packaged meals.
San Francisco is a lovely city and we enjoyed its many tourist venues. The famous Lombard Street, known as “The Crookedest Street in the World,” was beautiful, with its floral decorations. We shopped at Pier 39, and we bought matching San Francisco jackets. We really needed them since it was cold in San Francisco. Barbara added to her magnet collection, which contains magnets from dozens of countries around the world that we have toured. She’d never been in a store that sold thousands of magnets and she just loved looking at all the magnets on the walls.
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