Tagged aliyah

The coronavirus hasn’t stopped immigration to Israel

Israeli travelers enjoy a celebratory arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, March 23, 2020. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Aviva Karoly, an attorney originally from Queens, New York, and her husband, Tzvi, were raised in religious Zionist homes and always dreamed of living in Israel. In preparation, the couple had sent their 6-year old son Adi to a Hebrew-speaking preschool. They also put off purchasing… Read more »

This college student created a way for nonbinary people to speak Hebrew

Lior Gross, a student at the University of Colorado Boulder, created a Hebrew grammar that lets speakers avoid identifying as male or female. (Patrick Campbell)

(JTA) — Some college students who think about becoming rabbis aren’t sure whether they will want to work in a synagogue or school. Others get hung up on which seminary to attend or denomination to join. Lior Gross had a different dilemma: How to speak Hebrew in the first… Read more »

After realizing 45-year dream of aliyah, couple is surprised by what they find

Linda and Joel Zacks decided in 1968 that they wanted to move to Israel. It took another 45 years, and six of seven children moving there, before they finally immigrated. (Yardena Schwartz)

  JERUSALEM — When Joel Zacks and Linda Ginns each first visited Israel, on separate pre-college tours, they fell in love with the country. It was 1968, they were both 18 and had yet to meet. They returned to America, met during freshman orientation at Yeshiva University and fell… Read more »

Daughter’s aliyah plans fill family with pride, hope

My wife, Sue, and I are new to Arizona, having moved here from West Chester, Pa., in August 2016. However, we are not new to Judaism or a love of Israel and Jewish culture. But this is not about us, it’s about our daughter, Alexandra Simone Penfil. When Alli… Read more »

After multiple trips to Israel, Tucson teen making aliyah as lone soldier

Madyssen Zarin, left, with her twin sister, Rachael, and mother, Patricia (Korene Charnofsky Cohen)

Update: Nefesh B’Nefesh provided this photo of “soon to be IDF soldiers” arriving in Israel Aug. 17. We’re pretty sure we spotted Madyssen Zarin on the far right.    Madyssen Zarin is not someone who sits and watches the world go by. She is leaping into the future by making… Read more »

Arab-Israeli lawmaker in US refuses to enter offices shared with Jewish Agency

Ayman Odeh, carrying one of his three children, casting his vote in Nazareth on Israel's Election Day, March 17, 2015. (Basal Awidat/Flash90)

(JTA) — Arab-Israeli lawmaker and political leader Ayman Odeh refused to meet with the umbrella foreign policy body for American Jews because it shares office space with the Jewish Agency, an abrupt and dissonant end to a trip that was aimed at promoting greater Arab-Jewish cooperation. “I came here… Read more »

For aliyah promoters, Ukraine’s troubles provide a boost

Rabbi Shlomo Neeman, left, founder of the Kiev-based Zionist Seminary, and staff at the Tchelet summer camp in the Republic of Georgia, Aug. 19, 2015. (Eliyahu Yurovsky)

TBILISI, Georgia (JTA) — Until April of last year, Julia Podinovskaya felt like she had a pretty good handle on where her life was going. Born to a middle-class Jewish family in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, Podinovskaya, who is in her 20s, was volunteering with the local Jewish community… Read more »

Was Netanyahu right to urge mass-immigration to Israel?

It is too easy to dismiss Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s appeal for a “mass-immigration” of European Jews to Israel, following the recent terrorist attacks, as another one of his election campaign gimmicks. By invoking aliyah, the quintessence of Zionism,  Netanyahu could have supposedly been trying to position himself as… Read more »

Seeing need, Yechiel Eckstein’s Jewish-Christian fellowship gets into aliyah game

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein arriving in Israel with the first group of immigrants brought by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Dec. 22, 2014. (International Fellowship of Christians and Jews)

(JTA) — Citing failures by the organization traditionally responsible for bringing Jews to Israel, the founder of a Jerusalem-based interfaith charity said his organization would begin bringing more Jews to Israel from Europe — starting with Ukraine. Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and… Read more »

An aliyah story: A native Tucsonan reflects on moving family to war-torn Israel

Lisa Silverman with her chiildren (L-R), Yael, Jonah, Talia and Ruth Levin, in Modi'in, Israel (Ingrid Muller)

“Some days will be hard, but hope will prevail” were the words to a song on the radio as I headed home to Modi’in on July 17. So many thoughts, feelings, associations have been cascading through me ...… Read more »

Rejecting the title of modern-day Job

Alden Solovy

JERUSALEM (JTA) — On a Friday afternoon, six months after my wife Ami, of blessed memory, died of a catastrophic brain injury, I received a call from a local hospital. “Your mother has fallen down and hit her head,” the voice said. “The condition is serious. You’d better get… Read more »

Be kind to writers

Remember, a writer writes, always. This advice echoes in my head decades after hearing Billy Crystal offer it to his fictional writing students in “Throw Momma from the Train” (one of my all-time favorite movies). Every so often I consider this advice and wonder if it’s true and if… Read more »

Action, action, we want action

There’s a chorus inside my head that won’t shut up. It’s the group of internal activists (who look remarkably like me except they wear sexy wife beater tank tops and cargo pants) holding up signs that read: STOP TALKING ABOUT IT AND DO SOMETHING The activists look like me,… Read more »

Seeing double

When I first moved to Israel, before I got my full-time job here, I started networking in search of freelance writing work. I had already started writing this blog about my Aliyah experience and had gotten positive feedback from both friends and colleagues. One of my colleagues suggested I… Read more »

After 40 years in Tucson, Israel beckons Karsches

Carol Karsch, who is retiring after 23 years as executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, with her husband, Dan, at the Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Endowment Book of Life on Feb. 7. (Martha Lochert)

Carol Karsch has wanted to live in Israel since she was 10 years old, when she began learning about the Jewish state at a synagogue in the small town of Norristown, Pa. Now Karsch, who will step down next month after 23 years at the helm of the Jewish… Read more »

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

Before I lived in Israel, I was a tourist to Israel. I visited Israel three times as a program participant between the years 1992 and 2000, and twice independently with family. Each time, there were outright rules and admonitions from tour guides, concerned locals, or experienced travelers to Israel… Read more »


In retrospect, I’m glad we made Aliyah at the end of a calendar year. At the time, moving during the first of New Jersey’s many blizzards and dealing with holiday travel didn’t seem like such a good idea. But now, as I reflect on the year that we’ve been… Read more »

What do you call this?

When I first started blogging about my Aliyah experience, about two weeks into our new life here, a friend in Israel (also an oleh from the States) told me he had also started a blog when he first made Aliyah. But he soon found he “didn’t have much to… Read more »

Ties that bind

Last night, underneath a full moon, within the sacred space of our kibbutz mikveh, ten women gathered to acknowledge our friend who will be bringing a new life into our community in a few short weeks. Debbie’s due at the end of August and it’s become somewhat of a… Read more »