Photo Credit: courtesy AC
Prisoners of Zion Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich.

The former Prisoner of Zion, Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich, who served 11 years in Soviet prisons for attempting to hijack an airplane to fly to freedom in Israel, has called upon all Jews still in the Diaspora to face up to the increasing anti-Semitism throughout the world and to realize that the only future for the Jewish People is in the Jewish Homeland, as foretold in the Torah and in the visions of the Prophets of Israel. He will be airing this message at the “Emergency Aliyah and Klita Conference” being held on June 25 at the Hibbah Center in Jerusalem, which has been organized by the grassroots group of Aliyah activists, the “Aliyah Commandos” whose goal is to catalyze the Government of Israel to act more aggressively in encouraging Aliyah.  

“If the situation in the Diaspora becomes one of active violence against Jews, and if the just war we are fighting in Israel extends to other fronts, causing air travel to and from Israel to cease, how will Jews escape the hostilities?” Rabbi Mendelevich asks. “Does the Government have an emergency evacuation plan ready to put into action? And where will we house the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees who may soon be coming? Hotels in Israel are still filled with evacuees from the north and the south. Will new immigrants from New York and South Florida be expected to dwell in tents until permanent housing can be provided?” 



Jonathan Pollard will be speaking again at the conference, the third in a series designed to raise Aliyah to a national-priority project. He too has called for American Jews to wake up and see the distressing writing on the wall. Perhaps more than anyone else in our time, during his thirty years in U.S. Federal penitentiaries he learned that America is no great friend of Israel. “Don’t wait until it is too late,” he advises. He maintains that the situation in Europe is even worse. Invited to speak to several Jewish communities in France, he discovered thousands of Jews who want to immigrate to Israel but who felt abandoned by the Government of Israel and its Aliyah agencies, claiming that their calls for assistance have met only deaf ears. “The question is whether the Government of Israel really wants a mass Aliyah from the West?” Pollard says. In his opinion, it doesn’t. 

At the Emergency Aliyah and Klita Conference, these questions and others will be answered by Knesset Member Simcha Rothman, a co-leader of the recent stalled campaign for judicial reform in Israel. He will also speak on the need to change the controversial “grandfather clause” in the Law of Return which has allowed myriads of non-Jews to immigrate to Israel, causing increased intermarriage and threatening the Jewish Identity of the country. Today, approximately 70% of new immigrants to Israel are non-Jews, coming largely from Russia and the Ukraine.  

Also speaking at the June 25 conference is Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, formerly of Teaneck, New Jersey, who will address the challenges facing American Jewry and their Rabbis. More and more Rabbis in Israel, including Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu, Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, and Rabbi David Samson, have issued calls to their counterparts in the Diaspora to publically encourage their congregations to make Aliyah. Grassroots Aliyah activists working to assist Aliyah and Klita from Europe, South America, the Ukraine, and North America will also speak about the worsening situation throughout the Diaspora and what Israel needs to do to facilitate immigration and to make absorption in Israel more effective and welcoming for the oleh.  

The Emergency Aliyah and Klita Conference will take place June 25 at the Hibbah Center, 75 Herzog Blvd, Jerusalem, from 5:30 to 10pm. To register, contact: [email protected].               

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Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. His recent movie "Stories of Rebbe Nachman" The DVD of the movie is available online.