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October 9, 2015 / 26 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘aliyah’

A Response to South African Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Dear Chief Rabbi Goldstein,

Your video describing the Jewish history and connection to the Land of Israel was moving and beautiful. Your defense of our homeland and Jerusalem was pure eloquence.

There was a parable recently told over in Torah Tidbits of two brothers who were ill with an exotic disease called Galusia, and they had to eat non-kosher South African elephant meat in order to survive. (I’m paraphrasing TT here).

The first did so with regret, but knew he had no other choice. The second brother became an international elephant meat connoisseur, writing books and making videos on how to cook South African elephant meat and make the most wonderful dishes.

One day a cure was found for their disease (discovered by an Israeli company, as it happens).

The first brother was happy and relieved beyond belief. He no longer had to eat non-kosher food.

But the second brother now how to give up his beloved South African elephant meat, the thing he learned to enjoy more than anything else in the world.

Rabbi Goldstein, your description of Israel was moving and beautiful, even as your love for South Africa is clear.

But there is now a cure for Galusia.

Please, with your congregation, please come home to Israel.

Galus is the disease, Israel is the cure.

Aliyah Rises 13% Since Last Rosh HaShanah

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Immigration to Israel is up 13% compared with last year, with most of the rise from France and Ukraine among 97 countries whose citizens made Aliyah.

Approximately 3,600 Jews from North American have moved to Israel since last Rosh HaShanah, approximately the same number as the year before,

In the past 12 months, 29,500 Jews made Aliyah, compared with 26,000 in the Hebrew calendar year of 5774.

Most of this year’s immigrants came from the former Soviet Union – 14,100, compared with 10,800 last year – and from Europe, from where approximately 9,000 people came on Aliyah, 600 more than the previous year.

There was a modest increase in Aliyah from South America.

The two largest sources of Aliyah were France, with 7,350 immigrants compared with 6,700 in 5774, a 10% increase), and Ukraine, with 6,900 immigrants compared to 4,600 last year, a 50% increase.

The Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption have been running programs in both countries in order to encourage Aliyah and remove barriers to the immigrants’ integration in Israeli society. Aliyah from Russia also saw a significant 23% increase with the arrival of some 5,900 immigrants this year compared to 4,800 in 5774.

Also in Europe, some 690 immigrants arrived in Israel from the United Kingdom, a 13% increase when compared with the 612 who came last year. Some 400 arrived from Italy, a 30% increase, compared with 300 last year, and 290 came from Belgium, similar to last year’s figure.

Immigrants to Israel came from 97 countries across the world. One immigrant each came from Andorra, Angola, Namibia, Paraguay, the Philippines, and Slovakia.

Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky said:

For the past few years, the majority of immigrants to Israel have been coming from free and democratic Western countries. These immigrants’ free choice to live in Israel, and their preference for Israel over other countries, is the true triumph of Zionism.

Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Ze’ev Elkin estimated that Aliyah in the civilian calendar year of 2015 will be the highest in a decade, with 30,000-35,000 new immigrants expected.

Thousands of the new “olim” are young college graduates in engineering and technology, and more than 1,000 are doctors and other medical professionals.

The three most popular destinations in Israel were Tel Aviv-Yafo, which welcomed some 3,500 new immigrants, the coastal city of Netanya with 3,400, and Jerusalem, which some 3,000 new immigrants made their home in 5775.

American Woman Punched by Muslim on Temple Mount

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

An older Jewish woman who recently immigrated to Israel from the United States on aliyah was attacked when she made her first trip to the Temple Mount this week.

Brenda Rubin, a resident of Jerusalem, was a new Israeli for seven months when she was punched in the ribs Tuesday morning by a burka-clad Muslim woman.

Because the attacker was wearing a burka, as were those around her, security personnel obviously knew it would be impossible to identify with certainty who the attacker had been — possibly a factor in the planning of the Arab harassment campaign in the first place.

“It was my first time on the Mount and it was a very important thing for me,” she said. “This woman in black came in between our lines and gave me a big punch under my rib on my side that I’m still feeling.”

Burka-clad Muslim women who harassed a group of Jews visiting the Temple Mount. One of them viciously punched a Jewish woman in the ribs. No arrest was made.

When Rubin reported the attack to a police officer immediately after, he brusquely told her to “file a complaint” (at the nearby police station – after leaving the Temple Mount.)

He took no further action, even though the group of burka-clad Muslim women from which her attacker emerged was still standing nearby, harassing a small group of Jews.

“I feel like, we came to Israel, this is our Land, we didn’t come here to be shivering Jews,” Rubin said in a taped interview afterwards. “It’s really painful that somebody could feel they could come and use the name of God to come and hurt us.”

According to a Facebook post by The Temple Institute, “Muslim women are paid a daily stipend by the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas) to be present on the Temple Mount during the hours that Jews are allowed on the Mount, and to verbally and physically harass the Jewish worshipers from the moment they enter the Mount to the moment they exit the Mount.

“The Israel police, following strict orders, do nothing to prevent the attacks nor intervene once the attacks have occurred, (due to government fear of offending the Muslims).”

The Temple Mount is the holiest site on earth in Judaism, and the third holiest site in Islam. Nevertheless, the Israeli government has allowed Jordan to govern the site via the Islamic Waqf Authority. Jews are regularly mistreated at the site and sometimes attacked; often they are denied access to the site altogether, despite legal rights to the contrary.

Rubin, who still feels pain in her side, added, “I would like the people who feel that there is some commonality, to come [to the Mount] and walk around on some morning and see… how we’re being harassed – and that’s very disturbing.”

A text at the end of the videotaped interview states in Hebrew: “This time, the blow came as a punch; but the next time could be a knife.”

From Argentina to Shechem: New Immigrant Joins Soldiers on Front Line [video]

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

The important and challenging task of protecting the city of Shechem (Nablus) and its surrounding area no longer is just a man’s job. The Home Front Command made history by welcoming the first female soldiers to guard the line in Nablus.

Female combat soldiers make up 30% of the force in the newly co-ed David Company and are serving in the volatile area of Shechem, where last month the IDF seized several Palestinian Authority weapons caches.

Driving through the base in an armored vehicle clad with heavy vests and carrying their M-16s, group of female soldiers easily dispels any outdated stereotype about women.

One of the women is Sgt. Jatemliansquy, who was born in Argentina and enlisted in the IDF a year and a half ago, several months after making Aliyah.

She is part of the Search and Rescue unit and says:

We want civilians in the area to feel protected by our battalion.

Since I joined this unit, what I like and what excites me most is that children come with drawings to wish you Shabbat Shalom and to say thanks.

This is one of those things I wanted to hear the most.

More than 200 Immigrants from France to Arrive in Israel Tonight Aboard Special Aliyah Flight

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

The wave of French immigration to Israel continues: More than 200 French Jews, half of whom are children, will arrive in Israel tonight (Monday, July 27) aboard a special Aliyah flight organized by The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption.

The current wave of Aliyah from France comes following cooperative efforts by the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption and The Jewish Agency to sustain the high rate of French Aliyah and increase Aliyah from around the world. More than 20,000 French Jews—primarily young people and families—have made Israel their home over the past five years. Over 7,200 French Jews made Aliyah in 2014 – an all-time record, and the first time since Israel’s establishment that more than 1% of a Western country’s Jewish population immigrated to the country in a single year. The coastal city of Netanya is the number one destination for French immigrants to Israel, followed by Tel Aviv-Yafo, Jerusalem, Ashdod, and Ra’anana.

French Olim

According to data compiled by The Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, some 4,260 immigrants from France have arrived in Israel so far this year, an 11% increase compared to the 3,830 who came during the equivalent period in 2014. Moreover, interest in Aliyah from France has jumped by some 30%: 3,160 new Aliyah files were opened in France during the first six months of 2015, compared to some 2,509 during the same period last year. Registration for Aliyah information sessions reached 6,150, compared to 4,425 during the equivalent period in 2014.

Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Ze’ev Elkin said: “This plane with 200 immigrants from France is just one of many arriving in Israel this summer. This is the second year in a row that we are seeing a significant increase in Aliyah from France, and so the ministry and the entire government are working to further increase the rate of Aliyah and dedicate more resources to improving immigrant absorption. This year we are preparing to receive between 30,000 and 35,000 immigrants from around the world, the most in a decade.”

French Olim

Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky said: “Over the past two years, The Jewish Agency has significantly expanded its operations in Europe in response to increasing interest in Aliyah on the part of European Jews. We are seeing an unprecedented wave of Aliyah from European countries, which indicates not only how Europe is becoming an uncomfortable place for Jews, but—even more importantly—the extent to which Israel is becoming a magnet for Jews interested in a meaningful Jewish life, in freedom, personal security, and a sense of belonging to a country that is integral to the future of the Jewish people.”

Special Aliyah Flight to Bring 200 French Jews to Israel

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

More than 200 immigrants from France ware scheduled to land in Israel aboard a special Aliyah flight next Monday evening.

They will be greeted by Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Ze’ev Elkin and Jewish Agency chairman Israel Natan Sharansky.

The number of 3,000 immigrants from France this summer is expected to reach 3,000, compared with 7,086 for all of 2014.

African-American Converts Make Aliyah to Israel

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

“We will be a part of something so big—it is unthinkable to me,” Tracie Beavers said three-quarters of the way through a nearly 12-hour flight last week.

The Columbus, Ohio, mother of three was on her way to Israel, making aliyah with the support of the Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN) agency.

Tracie’s journey is an unlikely one that began about a decade ago, peaking in 2013 and triumphing when she boarded the plane to Israel. Tracie and her husband Aaron are both African-American converts to Judaism. Their long-winding path to the Jewish homeland began a generation ago with Aaron Beavers’ father, who “changed his lifestyle” when he discovered Torah, said Tracie.

Aaron’s father infused in him a love of yiddishkeit, though he never converted his wife or children. Aaron Beavers was raised Christian, but nearly two decades later, he came to the same conclusion as his father—that Torah is truth.

In 2009, Aaron and Tracie decided they wanted to be Jewish. In 2013, they completed their conversion. They pro-ceeded converted their oldest children—Anayah, 8, and Gabrielle, 6. Chanan, 2, was born into the Jewish faith.

About a year ago, the family decided the next step was moving to Israel.

“If you believe something, you should do it as much as you possibly can. You should be as close to it as you can,” Aaron Beavers told JNS.org.

The family has moved to Bat Hefer, a community in the Sharon plain, east of the central Israeli city of Netanya. Aaron said he plans to be a plumber. Tracie will continue to stay at home with the children. A former member of the U.S. National Guard, she said she now hopes to volunteer for the Israel Defense Forces.

The members of the Beavers family were just a handful of the 221 diverse faces—all newly minted immigrants in the Jewish state—aboard the NBN charter flight on the El Al airline that took off from New York City’s John F. Ken-nedy International Airport on July 12. It was the 53rd charter flight in NBN’s history. Other organizational partners behind the flight included Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, and JNF-USA.

NBN’s co-founder, Rabbi Joshua Fass, told the group prior to takeoff, “Returning to Zion is like dreaming. … It is a diverse group of Jews coming together for a common dream.” The other co-founder, Tony Gelbart, said each aliyah flight is as exciting as the next.

“For these olim (immigrants to Israel), it is their first time,” he said.

Aboard the plane were a four-month-old baby and a 90-year-old bubbie, as well as two sets of three-generation families. In total, there were 32 families and 95 children. NBN has helped more than 45,000 olim get to Israel since its founding in 2001.

The 90-year-old bubbie was Sue Friedman, grandmother of Rachel Azaria, a member of the Israeli Knesset for the Kulanu party. Friedman said she has wanted to move to Israel since she left Germany at the age of 13, years before the Nazis annihilated 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. She spent many years raising a family in Riverdale, N.Y., but infused in all of her children a love of the Jewish state. She is being embraced in Israel by 27 great-grandchildren.

“I am ready,” she told JNS.org. Friedman is now residing in an independent living facility in Ra’anana.

While there were mixed emotions in the air as families boarded the flight in New York, leaving loved ones behind in America and feeling unsure of what exactly the future holds in Israel, there was nothing but joy upon landing.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/afro-american-converts-make-aliyah-to-israel/2015/07/19/

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