Israel’s Future: Profiles in Youth Aliyah
NAME: YEHUDIT FLEISCHHACKER
HOMETOWN: MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, USA
As my father dropped me off at the airport for my seminary year, he said I should always remember how fortunate my generation is that we can learn, experience, and live freely in the Land of Israel. This stuck with me, and I spent the entire year immersing myself in all Israel had to offer and made Aliyah in the middle of the year.
NAME: NOAH TRADONSKY
HOMETOWN: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Our return to Zion is the most ambitious project in our nation’s history: to build, on the back of Holocaust survivors and refugees, a home for the world’s Jews, a safehaven for the persecuted, a second chance for those forgotten, and a bright, beautiful and moral light for the nations of the world. How could I not want to be a part of that?
NAME: MICHAEL GAON
HOMETOWN: SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
I made Aliyah because I believe Israel is our rightful land and the only place where I can fully live a life of Torah and mitzvot. I don’t take for granted having the freedom to express myself religiously and the chance to be together with others who identify with those ideals, something I experienced in a powerful way when I studied in Hesder and served in the IDF.
NAME: CHAIM WEINSTEIN
HOMETOWN: TEANECK, NEW JERSEY, USA
I made Aliyah because I see our future here. Every time our people settled in exile it was temporary, and we were ultimately kicked out or worse. But here we belong. You can ask anyone for help with anything, speak to anyone – we’re all part of Am Yisrael. You really feel that here.
NAME: LIORA MAYER
HOMETOWN: BOCA RATON, FLORIDA, USA
My 8th-grade self knew I was making Aliyah before I did. On my way back to America from a school program in Israel, I felt down; I didn’t want to leave! Now I’m here to stay, and although Aliyah is nothing like a class trip, I feel stronger than ever that I’m at home.
NAME: TALIA BENJAMIN
HOMETOWN: LONDON, UK
I am currently in my third year serving in the IDF as an officer in basic training and was lucky enough to be the mefaked (officer) for three groups of olim chadashim from all over the world who were learning Hebrew in preparation for serving the State. Hearing French, American, Russian, South American, Ethiopian and Indian Jews proclaim together “אֲנִי נִשְׁבָּע”, swearing to protect our people, is a tangible fulfillment of the Zionist dream. I’m privileged to be a part of it!
NAME: ELIAV YISHAI TZION SABAN
HOMETOWN: TORONTO, CANADA
My obsession with Eretz Yisrael began at age 9 when I began attending a Religious Zionist summer camp. By the time I was in high school I was asking myself every day: “Why am I still in exile? Why am I not in the Jewish homeland, the land G-d gave us?” The dirt that I step on here is so holy you can’t even plant right now! Everything I learned in Torah, from Avraham and Lech Lecha, to Moshe and his yearning to enter Israel, was about the land. And now I’m finally here!
NAME: ADINA JACOBS
HOMETOWN: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
In 9th grade, I spent a semester at a high school in Ma’ale Adumim. The school put a great emphasis on chessed and helping our fellow Jews. Every day, I felt that I was surrounded by people who truly loved being a part of Am Yisrael, and it helped me understand that Israel is more than a country – it’s a family. After giving birth during my first year of college, my teachers called me to see how I was coping emotionally, how my baby was feeling and if we had everything we needed. This is Israel!