Have you ever heard the term ”Yiddish Zionist”? Well the reason you haven’t is because it didn’t exist… until now.
The Religious Zionist Movement is reaching out to the most unexpected of audiences – Yiddish speaking Ultra-Orthodox Jews.
With the launch of their new website www.mizrachi.org, they have initiated a video campaign directed at one of the most insular and impenetrable demographics in the Jewish world. They are bypassing traditional obstacles to engagement with the community through a unique and entertaining YouTube campaign disseminated through their own media channels, ultra-orthodox websites, blogs and forums bringing a religious Zionist message to a demographic of Jews largely ignored by mainstream Jews.
Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel, who initiated the campaign explains, “Our goal is the spread an Israel consciousness and ultimately fulfil the Jewish dream of restoring the Jewish People to our ancient home land. Smartphones and YouTube allow us to reach communities that at large would never otherwise invite us to speak at their synagogues. Using the Internet properly has the potential to change world Jewry.”
When asked why he’s targeting such a niche market Gimpel explained, “The Chareidi community is full of remarkable people who make great sacrifices and dedicate their life to their beliefs. My hope for the Yiddish speaking Chassidim is that they begin to see living in Israel as a part of their religious responsibly and ultimately a part of Jewish destiny.”
The video includes powerful images of Israel throughout the land, dramatic music and Yiddish messages rooted in Jewish liturgy and Biblical texts encouraging Jews to make Aliyah, immigrate to Israel. “
One Yiddish speaking Chareidi journalist has responded to video by saying, “This may be the right time to reach out to the Satmar Chassidim and other Chassidic sects. Western culture is infiltrating our communities and people are starting to consider Eretz Yisroel as a real option to raising their families in an uncorrupted Jewish environment. The State of Israel which was once seen as a threat to a Torah based life is being seen as a potential safe haven for people who want to live a Torah based life. ”
The Message of the Video in Yiddish reads as follows:
“The Land our ancestors/fathers walked” “The Land that is being revived” “The Land we have fought and sacrificed for” “The Land we have prayed for”
The Land of Israel – “The Land that the Lord you God always seeks out. The eyes of the Lord your God are upon in from the beginning of the year until the year’s end. “ (Deuteronomy 11)
Now is our time…. For our prayer to be answered… “May we build Jerusalem… May we ingather the exiles… We are returning to the Land of Israel NOW!.