With all of the political instability and rapid cultural change occuring in the US, thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of American Jews are reconsidering where their future ought to be.
We spoke to three American Jews who have recently set sights on moving to Israel, influenced by what they feel is a general deterioration of conditions for the Jewish community in America and by what they perceive is God’s calling.
We Are Witnessing A Spiritual Chess Match
Dan Masri of Boca Raton, FL has put plans into place to move his family back to Israel effective immediately. He told Israel365 News, “The writing is literally on the walls. The events that America has just experienced are so sequentially improbable that if an author would write a screenplay, Hollywood would dismiss it as not believable.
“We need to see the Divine orchestration of events beyond man’s genius and ignorance and open our eyes to see a spiritual chess match is occurring to guide the Children of Jacob, now named Israel, to fulfill our birthright, to immerse in the Ultimate commandment to return home.”
Masri pointed out that this week’s Torah portion is Bo, which literally means come. “We have had 2,000 years of practice towards perfecting our third and final Commonwealth. Bo – Come!!!!”
Come To Israel To Await The Redemption
S. Jones, whose application to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel) from New York was just approved, told Israel365 News, “The Aibishter (the Almighty) has called upon us to make aliyah, to relocate our hearts, minds and bodies to His Holyland and ignite the anticipated geula (final redemption) with our special love for freedom on the decline in the USA.
“I love America and its obvious decline has stirred my heart to leave here to greet the geula in our true home, Eretz Yisroel (the Land of Israel). It’s time to go and cross over into true freedom. May we all have Nachshon’s emunah (faith) and take the plunge.”
In Jewish tradition, when the Israelites faced Pharaoh and his army behind them and the sea before them, Nachshon ben Aminadav, the head of the Tribe of Judah, was the first to respond to God’s command to enter the sea, even before it was clear that the sea would split.
Nachshon is a symbol to Jews of someone who bravely took action in the face of the unknown.
Rising Anti-Semitism in America
Queens, NY resident Meira Schneider-Atik, along with her husband and three children have recently begun the aliyah process.
“My husband and I have wanted to make aliyah for many years because Eretz Yisrael is our Homeland and we belong there,” she shared. “Financial issues have held us back. But we decided to take the Nachshon ben Aminadav approach and we started the process. Now, it’s getting more urgent.
“I feel that American society is becoming more and more against Jews and Judaism. And it’s coming from both sides. The Tree of Life and Poway massacres didn’t come from nowhere and neither did the murder of [Rabbi] Yosef Neumann (who was stabbed in an anti-Semitic attack in Monsey, NY during Chanukah 2019 and who died as a result of his wounds). Then there’s the cancel culture from the left that has no use for religious values.
“We don’t think that things will be easier in Eretz Yisrael. But just having a Homeland gives me hope,” she shared.
Inspiring American Jews to Come Home
Last year, Jerusalem resident Josh Wander created Bring Them Home, a project that features videos of some of the most influential Torah personalities today addressing the Jewish people on the importance of living in the Land of Israel. Wander lives with his wife and six children on the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Temple Mount.
He told Israel365 News, “We are getting an unprecedented amount of calls from people who are concerned about what is going on with instability in the United States and in the world, and are interested in coming back home. They’ve always, perhaps, thought about making aliyah at some point, coming back to their ancestral homeland.
“[Now] they realize that this is something that has to be put into high gear and move forward very quickly. So a lot of people who have been planning at some later stage to move are now deciding that the signs are there. The writing is on the wall and it’s time to act now.
“Those that are heeding that call are contacting us. They’re expressing their trepidation, and they are asking for any assistance that they can get in streamlining the bureaucracy. Our organization is not geared towards the logistics or the bureaucracy end of it. There are many great organizations that do that work.
“I think we are the only organization out there that our mission statement is to inform and educate the Jews around the world of the importance and the necessity to move back to Eretz Yisrael today and I think that we are, Baruch Hashem, getting that message out.
“Of course, we much prefer people come back to Eretz Yisrael for good reasons, because they realize that this is the place that all the Jewish people belong. But we are always there as a place of refuge, if God forbid, the situation necessitates it,” he assured.
Even Jews Who Have Not Traditionally Considered Aliyah Are Impacted
Gush Etzion resident David Brenner who created the Partners in Aliyah peer-support network for English-speaking Jews considering making aliyah, told Israel365 News, “One of the amazing things we’ve witnessed over the past ten months is a surge in aliyah interest from the American Haredi/Yeshivish community.”
This segment of the American Jewish community is characterized by being very exacting in their observance of Jewish law. “Previously, this group of Jews had minimal interest in aliyah and also felt, to a large extent, that there was not a place for them in Israeli society,” Brenner reflected.
“What I see now is that the COVID virus and Trump’s handling of it, coupled with the riots related to BLM and rising cases of anti-Semitism, caused Jews in America to re-evaluate their long-term prospects. [These events ] have motivated this group to aggressively start looking at aliyah, and has also caused a surge of aliyah advocacy from olim (Jewish immigrants already living in Israel).”