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November 28, 2015 / 16 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘olim’

Should Israel Help Save America’s Jewish Community?

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

On the list of really difficult dilemmas, this has to be in the top 10. Should the State of Israel, fast becoming the biggest—and certainly the most Jewish identified—Jewish center in the world, make an effort to save the second largest Jewish center from disappearing?

According to an AP report Monday, headlined “Israel reaches out to save US Jewish community,” more than 100 Israeli leaders gathered with Jewish-American counterparts in Jerusalem last month to discuss the “daunting mission” of saving Jewish life in North America.

In my opinion, Israel must invest only in one, narrow, even narrow minded effort: bringing Jews from the West to Israel, before it’s too late. Be the immigration country you’re supposed to be. Instead of spending money on strengthening Jewish identity in countries where such an identity is borderline meaningless—create better incentives for Jews to make Aliyah.

The economic crash is not going away any time soon in the U.S. and Western Europe, even as things look less terrible than they did 5 years ago. Israel should make it its business to entice a million Western Jews to make the move, by offering them a better life in the Jewish State.

Having made the move myself, with my family, only two years ago, I can tell you that besides the great weather and spiritual advantages, Israel also has a robust economy, where an educated Jew can make a future for himself or herself, and a fantastic healthcare system, where no one, but no one is left behind. But Israel should invest in making its system easier for newcomers to navigate, and, most crucially, create attractive housing opportunities across the country.

According to AP, Israel has invested more than $125 million trying to bring young Jews to visit, as a way of strengthening their ties with the Jewish homeland. More than 300,000 young Jews from around the world have been brought over by Birthright, with funding from Israel and Jewish philanthropists.

But studies show that the effect of the trips is usually short termed.

It’s no secret that assimilation and intermarriage are shrinking Jewish American communities at an ever faster pace, the notorious Pew study has found that young American Jews are growing increasingly estranged from Judaism.

Moreover, many American Jews, especially the younger ones, who are mostly socially liberal, have serious doubts about Israel’s security policies. Would they accept help from Israel, which they’re often more likely to boycott?

American Jews who are anti-Israel have reached that position over two or three key issues, all of them born by media distortion and outrageous political hypocrisy: the right of Jews to live in the disputed territories; the right of women to pray at the Kotel wearing talit and tefillin; and, maybe, Israel’s African illegal migrants problems.

“An Israel which doesn’t address these issues is an Israel which in the long run endangers the relationship with world Jewry,” Donniel Hartman told AP. He said Jews who don’t believe Israel shares their liberal values may disconnect from it.

It used to be that U.S. Jews saw themselves as Israel’s lifeline, raising millions of dollars and lobbying government on its behalf. At least that was the common perception. But today Israel is an affluent country, with a thriving economy, a stunningly innovative high tech industry, and the strongest army in the Middle East.

It is also the superior intellectual and religious center of the Jewish world, far exceeding the accomplishment of the U.S. Jewish community. And so, despite the fact that many American Jews aren’t happy with it, Israel is the natural choice when it comes to saving their communities from oblivion.

Seventh Hanukkah Candle to Be Lit in Seven Nations Simultaneously

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Immigrants to Israel from seven countries will light Hanukkah candles Tuesday night simultaneously with Jews in seven other countries in a ceremony organized by the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption and The Jewish Agency for Israel.

The candle lighting in Israel will take place at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, where 300 young olim  from France, Ethiopia, the United States, Yemen, Latvia, Latin America, and the Bnei Menashe community of India will be joined by Jews lighting at the same time in Paris, London, Moscow, Kiev, Tashkent and Budapest.

The event will be broadcast live  here at 3:30 p.m. Israel time (8:30 a.m. EST).

Lone Soldiers and Olim Celebrate “Thanksgivukkah” in Tel Aviv

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Fifty lone soldiers and over 200 young professional Olim celebrated “Thanksgivukkah” at a festive event organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh and White City Shabbat.

Revelers celebrated the once-in-a-lifetime double holiday of Chanukkah and Thanksgiving at the landmark Goren Synagogue in Tel Aviv with a three-course meal replete with traditional holiday foods including latkes and turkey.

After the meal, Tel Aviv’s deputy mayor Asaf Zamir led the Chanukkah candle-lighting ceremony. This event was also sponsored by the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth L’Israel, JNF and the FIDF as a part of Nefesh B’Nefesh’s ongoing social events for its Olim and Lone Soldiers.

As a gesture of showing thanks and in order to promote acts of kindness towards those less fortunate, dinner guests were encouraged to donate lightly worn clothes for the event’s clothing drive.

“We are excited to have teamed up with White City Shabbat on this exceptional holiday event. This was a great opportunity for young professionals and lone soldiers to enjoy a traditional festive meal and express their thanks together with fellow Olim from around the country,” said Benji Davis, Events & Programs Coordinator at Nefesh B’Nefesh.

White City Shabbat is a volunteer-run portal for Jewish life in Tel Aviv that hosts a range of intercommunity events, including its hugely successful monthly Shabbat meals.

As a native Brit, Deborah Danan doesn’t feel that Thanksgivukkah is exclusive for Americans. “The theme of Thanksgiving is anyway inherent to the festival of Chanukkah which all Jews celebrate,” said Danan, who co-directs White City Shabbat together with Eytan White, “And of course, as our tagline states, ‘you don’t have to be American to give thanks!’ People from a broad spectrum of nationalities are coming together to show their gratitude for being able to celebrate this unique holiday in Israel.”

Jewish Agency Seeks ‘Number One Sukkah in the World’

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

The Jewish Agency for Israel has launched a competition to find the Number One Sukkah in the World.

The competition, dubbed “Sukkathon 2013,” invites Jewish individuals and communities around the world to submit photos of their sukkahs for consideration by a panel of judges. The judges include the South African-Israeli architect Pam Davidson, British art critic and art history lecturer Julia Weiner, and artist Betina Schneid, a recent immigrant to Israel from Brazil, who has participated in The Jewish Agency’s Ulpan Etzion program in Jerusalem.

Photo submissions will be welcomed until Monday, September 23, and the winner will be announced on the Hoshana Rabba festival da, the last day of Sukkot, this, Wednesday.

As part of the Sukkathon, children from the Jewish Agency’s Ye’elim Immigrant Absorption Center in Be’er Sheva have submitted a photo of themselves (above) in the absorption center sukkah, which they helped build and decorate.  Hundreds of new immigrants living in the absorption center are preparing to celebrate their first Sukkot in Israel, as are thousands of other immigrants at Jewish Agency absorption centers around Israel.  Some 350 individuals reside in Ye’elim, including some 130 children.

Children Dominate Unusual Aliyah Flight

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

The first aliyah flight this summer gets off to a spectacular start Tuesday with the expected arrival of 106 children among the 231 Jews from the United States and Canada, escorted by former kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

Their plane is scheduled to touch down at Ben Gurion Airport at 7.am. Tuesday.

The large number of children prompted officials from the Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah organization to make sure lots of games, coloring books and even a story-telling hour will be available to make the flight more enjoyable for the younger generation.

This is the first time that NBN is working with three others groups – the Jewish Agency, the Ministry of Immigration and the Jewish National Fund (JNF).

Tuesday’s flight will include 41 families. The estimated 989 children who will make aliyah this year is a 20 percent increase of the previous year.

“There is a dramatic increase in the number of children making aliyah this summer, and this warms the heart and demonstrates that more and more American are realizing that Israel is great place to raise children,” said NBN deputy director Erez Halfon. “Children are the future of Israel.”

On hand to meet the newcomers will be several Knesset members, including Jewish Home MK Dov Lipman, who moved from the United States to Israel on a NBN flight in 2004.

A significant number of families will be living in the Galilee, in the north, and in the Negev, in cooperation with programs sponsored by the JNF. The government is investing billion of dollars in infrastructure and development to increase the Jewish population in both areas.

Family and friends around the world will be able to watch a live feed of the landing in Israel and the welcoming ceremony at www.nbn.org.il/live.

Interview with a New Oleh from Idaho

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013


Yishai is joined by show co-producer and new Oleh to Israel Moshe Herman. They discuss Herman’s first few days in Israel including a trip to the Israeli Armor Museum at Latrun, a roadtrip with the Fleishers to Beit El, and touring around Jerusalem with pensioners from Bat Yam. Listen in!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Faces of Israel: Nachman Klieman, Founder of U-Boutique

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Nachman Klieman and his wife Ruchama made Aliyah in 1977. After twenty years of living in Rehovot, his family moved to Neve Tzuf in Judea and Samaria. Klieman refers to this move as his second Aliyah.

Neve Tzuf is an orthodox Jewish community of 260 families that is rich in Jewish history. It is also one of the possible areas where the biblical leader of the Jewish people, Joshua son of Nun, was buried. According to Klieman,

In the center of our community stand the remains of one of the largest ancient olive oil and wine press sites. Eight large circular pressing areas including drainage and collection channels were found including an adjacent mikva for the ritual purification of those who processed the wine.

Not too far away from Neve Tzuf are the wine presses of Rama, which are mentioned in the Talmud as the location where grapes for use in the Temple were produced.

Klieman describes his community with glowing terms,

Our community lacks for nothing and has a clinic, grocery store, 4 Synagogues, an active cultural program for children and adults, the central swimming pool for the area, and public green areas in its center aside from the natural forests that surround it.

We love the sense of community, purposefulness and ideology, the security and freedom we feel within the community, children and youth are able to walk around in the evening without fear, there are planned activities and shiurim for all ages. There is the feeling that if you want to be alone you can but if you don’t just knock on your neighbor’s door and you’ll be welcomed.

Nevertheless, despite the appeals of living in such a close-knit and warm community, there are hardships associated with living in Judea and Samaria. Whenever he drives, he always needs to be on extra alert because “our Palestinian neighbors decide to remind us from time to time that they still know how to throw stones at passing Israeli cars.” The fact that Klieman lives about an hour away from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, makes driving to such important places not so easy.

Unfortunately, as someone who lives on the front line of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Klieman has personal experience when it comes to Palestinian terrorism. “Our 23 year old daughter, Esther, who was living at home with us at the time volunteered at Lev Binyamin (a non-profit organization for children who are physically and mentally challenged) to organize a pre- Passover camp for children of the Binyamin area. Esther’s plan was to provide free time for the parents of these children and to enable them to prepare for the Holiday,” Klieman explained.

On March 24, 2002, I drove Esther to the bus stop near our home for the opening day of camp and I remember that magnificent smile as she looked at me from behind the large windshield of the bus. Five minutes later, a cell of 4 terrorists standing on a hill overlooking the road, fired automatic rifle fire at the civilian bus. Their only motive was to kill or injure Israeli citizens. One bullet penetrated the roof and struck Esther in her seat penetrating her heart of gold. According to the young girl who sat next to her as well as others on the bus, Esther died instantly.

After the tragic death of his daughter, Klieman quit his job working as the head of public relations for El Al and devoted all of his time to supporting Israel. He spoke on behalf of victims of terror for various audiences in the United States and worked as a shaliach part-time for Keren Yesod in South Africa. Then, after doing all of this work, about four years ago, Klieman experienced another family tragedy, when his 26-year-old son died of a heart attack.

According to Klieman, upon the death of Gavriel,

I felt lost and looked for a new direction to seek the strength and purpose I needed. Gavriel had begun to develop the idea of an Israeli based website just before he died, a site he named U-Boutique.com that would promote the creations and handicrafts of hundreds of Israeli artisans and designers to overseas markets. I gained the strength I needed when I began to look into the idea of turning Gavriel’s dream into a reality.

Since then Kliemen has accomplished just that.

Today, my eldest son and I are working to promote Israeli creativity and design by helping small businesses market their products overseas. Gavriel’s dream of U-Boutique is a reality, and I couldn’t ask for a greater feeling than seeing the creative works of Israeli artists, artisans, and designers of jewelry, Judaica, fashions, and art being purchased by Jews and Christians who seek to support Israel and its’ economy.

To explore Nachman Klieman’s online market of made in Israel products visit: U-Boutique.com.

Visit United with Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/united-with-israel/faces-of-israel-nachman-klieman-founder-of-u-boutique/2013/05/26/

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