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June 30, 2016 / 24 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘olim’

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.

Rachel Avraham

Tel Aviv: A City of Opportunity

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Meet Jay Shultz, president of the Am Yisrael Foundation and head of seven non-profit organizations serving the international community in Tel Aviv. What opportunities does Tel Aviv offer to immigrants from English-speaking countries and others planning to settle in Israel? Tune into the second part of this week’s Goldstein on Gelt podcast to find out!

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Yishai with Two Olim During their Flight Home

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

On the flight back from the USA to Israel last week,Yishai interviewed two olim (people making aliyah – immigrating to Israel): One person moving to Israel to join the IDF and a second person from S. Africa was a lifelong Zionist who worked hard on outreach and is finally going home herself. Listen in and get inspired!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Six on Five, New Olim’s Aliyah Experiences II

Monday, February 4th, 2013

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai presents audio from an event he recently attended in Maale Adumim which was sponsored by Rabbi Elan Adler, where six new Olim to Israel present the five most significant things they’ve learned since making Aliyah. To kick off this segment, we hear Rebbetzin Yael Kaner. Following the Rebbetzin is Annie Orenstein. We end this week’s show with Maklah Shrybman along with a musical number from Andy Gross.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

A Resilient Nation

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Where else but in Israel would a fresh-faced, eight-year-old Little League rookie wearing a New York Mets uniform smile and casually ask you, “By the way, during the game today, if a rocket is fired at Modiin, where do we run?”

Where else but in Israel would a confused Tel Aviv taxi driver ask his passenger, “What do I do now?” several seconds after air raid sirens are sounded throughout the city?

Within the span of a few days this past week, I was faced with the challenges of easing a child’s innocent anxiety during a “relaxing” after-school activity and dealing with my own mortality while trying to arrive on time at a meeting in the bustling Tel Aviv region.

Call it what you wish: absurd, surreal, or something else. For me, each instance provided a sense of irony and awe.

Coaching one of Modiin’s Little League squads on Friday afternoons is a physical and emotional release for me, allowing me to realize a lifelong dream of being involved with baseball while diminishing the stress of daily life. But even coaching baseball comes with a proviso unique in Israel. Several hours before the game, the Israel Association of Baseball alerted all Little League coaches (Little League in Israel runs from October until early June) of their legal obligation to instruct all youngsters where to run if air raid sirens sounded.

Several minutes before we started practice for an upcoming Chanukah tournament, I was chosen by the other coaches to explain – in Hebrew and English – the situation to the nearly 20 Little League team members. As I stared at the kids, some of whom had recently made aliyah from the U.S., I wondered how they would react to a potentially chaotic scene. To my great relief, both the American olim and the Israeli youngsters listened attentively and then segued into their baseball banter without missing a beat. In fact, it was one of the most productive practices of the season.

On Sunday morning, I boarded a crowded train to central Tel Aviv, disembarked and hailed a taxi.

Less than a minute after the driver started to wind his way through the busy streets to nearby Ramat Gan, air raid sirens sounded throughout the city. My initial reaction was that I didn’t believe it. But the driver, a grizzled Tel Avivian in his early 60s, was positively confused. He exclaimed, “I have no idea what to do!” Realizing that this was not a scene from a Hollywood movie but a real-life rocket attack in the heart of Israel, I calmly told the driver to pull over so that we could at least make it to the entrance of the nearest building.

We got out and walked less than five yards to a storefront. For several seconds we pondered where the missile would hit. And then a loud boom echoed above our heads. A motorcycle driver standing nearby pointed up and said, “Iron Dome shot it down.”

I looked up and saw the contrails and puffs of smoke from both the Iron Dome missile and the remnants of the Fajr-5 projectile that had been fired by Islamic Jihad terrorists in the Gaza Strip. As if on cue, all of the citizens who had abandoned their cars in the middle of the road, many with the engines still running, returned to their vehicles and proceeded to their destinations. Everyone just kept on moving, without hysteria or tears. Life goes on. (And yes, I was on time for my meeting.)

No one appeared out of sync, except for one marketing executive whose hands were shaking because her son was sitting in a tank along the Gaza border waiting to see if his unit would be among the first to invade enemy territory.

Walking back to the train, I looked up at the skyscrapers that are growing by leaps and bounds in Tel Aviv and adjacent Ramat Gan and just shook my head. For a split second, my body shuddered.

It is widely believed that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are trying to cause an Israeli version of 9/11. A successful missile strike on a skyscraper or two in Tel Aviv or Ramat Gan would kill or maim hundreds and send frantic citizens on the streets below racing for their lives. Despite the fact that the cowering residents of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba, Ofakim and Sderot, among other cities, have been hammered mercilessly, a single Fajr-5 strike against a Tel Aviv skyscraper would make headlines worldwide and spark an all-out war on Gaza. Which is exactly what Iran wants.

Steve K. Walz

Sandy’s Ripple Effects Felt In Israel

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Hurricane Sandy’s fury created a ripple effect that was felt in Israel, as thousands of tourists, business travelers and ordinary citizens found themselves stranded on both sides of the ocean.

As of midweek, all flights from Ben Gurion International Airport to both JFK and Newark airports had been cancelled through at least Wednesday morning. With JFK Airport reporting heavy flooding and high winds across its runways on Tuesday, and Newark Airport dealing with high winds and sporadic power problems, it was undetermined when regular flights to Israel from the metropolitan New York area would resume. U.S. Airways flights to Israel from Philadelphia International Airport were also canceled through at least Wednesday morning. Once the region’s airports resume a normal flight schedule, El Al, Delta, United and U.S. Airways will have to deal with a backlog of thousands of passengers whose flights were canceled earlier this week.

Thousands of American olim and native Israelis who live in Modiin, Beit Shemesh, Tel Aviv and other cities in close proximity to Ben Gurion Airport and who regularly commute to their jobs in the New York, Boston and Washington areas, found themselves scrambling to rebook their flights. Many of these commuters board El Al’s midnight and early Sunday morning flights from Israel and then return home via late night flights on Wednesday evening from JFK and Newark airports.

Nature’s fury also exacted a toll on Israeli tourists trapped in their Manhattan hotels, as well as Israelis trying to make their way to the New York area for various functions. According to ynetnews.com, a religious resident of Jerusalem was scheduled to marry his fiancée in the New York area this week, but Hurricane Sandy kept them apart. “The excited grin has been wiped off the chattan’s face,” the groom’s father told ynetnews.com on Monday.

Israeli pop singer David Broza, in the midst of his annual concert tour across the U.S., told Yediot Aharonot, “The situation in Tribeca during the storm was terrible. The streets were filling up with water and power outages were expected. I had a concert scheduled in Manhattan on Thursday but instead my wife and I prepared ourselves just like during the [First] Gulf War. The difference being, instead of taping up the windows with plastic, we have life preservers.”

In the hurricane’s wake, many Israelis were trying to establish contact with friends and family in parts of Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and New Jersey.

Ironically, thousands of American business executives who were able to board flights to Israel earlier this week flooded into Tel Aviv hotels for a phalanx of annual conferences and meetings. According to the Tel Aviv Hotel Association, almost every major hotel in the Tel Aviv vicinity was booked to near capacity.

Steve K. Walz

An Important Lesson From The World Baseball Classic

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Team Israel lost in the finals of the World Baseball Classic qualifiers, but the experience should teach an important lesson to Jewish people throughout the world.

The fact that Jewish players and players with Jewish roots who don’t actually live in Israel played for Team Israel should send a critical message to Diaspora Jewry: Israel is the homeland for all Jews.

But Diaspora Jewry is not acting like this is the reality. A few weeks ago I heard words that sent shivers up and down my spine. An Israeli Army Radio host was interviewing a government official who said, “Israel and its government are shifting into post-aliyah mode.” Post-aliyah? Aren’t there millions of Jews still living around the world who are potential immigrants to Israel?

The official explained that, based on the professional assessments of a variety of governmental agencies, there is no group of significant size currently looking to move to Israel. Since that is the case and given the fact that massive aliyot from Europe, Middle Eastern countries, the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia have now ended, we are in post-aliyah mode.

As this official stated, it is time to focus on addressing all the needs of those who are already in Israel and to begin developing alternatives other than aliyah to deal with potential demographic threats in the country. The government recognizes that 2,000-3,000 immigrants from North America and other countries will continue to “trickle” in annually but their expert assessment concludes that no future aliyah will impact Israel in a significant or meaningful manner.

How sad.

Yes, there are many Zionists who support Israel in many ways but, as these Israeli government experts have determined, aliyah and aliyah education are not a focus of Diaspora Jewry. That is truly a shame. To be clear, I don’t believe every Jew in the Diaspora must drop everything and move to Israel. But how can aliyah be off the table and not an option being even considered and explored for millions of Jews around the world?

The book of Deuteronomy includes over fifty references to the importance of living in Israel, such as “See, I have given you the land, come and inherit it” (1:8) and “See, God has placed the land before you, go up and possess” (Ibid, 21). How can we read these verses and not make the ideal of moving to Israel an integral component of our children’s educations? If people are either too old for such a major transition or too settled in their professions and careers, then why not educate the next generation for aliyah and prepare them for making the move as young adults?

I certainly acknowledge the challenges associated with making aliyah. While Nefesh B’Nefesh has certainly addressed and minimized those challenges and deserves credit for inspiring thousands of new olim, including my own family, to make the move, aliyah is still very difficult. But why isn’t every family at least exploring that option?

If the family cannot make aliyah for any of a number of legitimate reasons, why aren’t the children being brought up with plans to achieve this goal? Why aren’t schools promoting the mitzvah of living in Israel with the same idealism, fervor and encouragement used in teaching all other mitzvot and Jewish ideals?

The North Americans who are playing for Team Israel make a huge statement about the ideal toward which we should be striving. Yes, a person’s citizenship may be that of the United States. But, as Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi said so poignantly, “My heart is in the East.” We need to be a people consumed to our core by identifying with Israel – and who not only see no conflict between Jews living in the Diaspora playing for Israel, but also see it as a seamless and natural fit. The “right of return” and automatic citizenship cannot be just some formality. It needs to be a reality that we carry with us throughout our lives and that drives our dreams, hopes, and aspirations.

One more point. Jews around the world do indeed worry about Israel. Jews fret about tensions related to religious extremism and lack of unity. Jews are concerned about Israel’s economy. They also worry about the Palestinian question, demographic problems, and the future of Israel as a Jewish state. Hundreds of thousands of professional, committed, idealistic, and moderate Jews making aliyah from around the world would help solve many of these issues.

Rabbi Dov Lipman

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/an-important-lesson-from-the-world-baseball-classic/2012/10/04/

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