|Efrat which had many Americans in its founding |
core of residents.
At the not very well publicized (we never saw any announcements, and a neighbor complained that she only received a notice a couple of days before) recent Jerusalem Limmud, Sara Yael Hirschhorn publicized her new book:
Speaking at the Limmud conference in Jerusalem, Sara Yael Hirschhorn, in a promotional lecture for her soon-to-be published book, said that out of the approximately 400,000 Jews living in the West Bank, 60,000 were Americans. The figures did not include east Jerusalem, Newsweek added. (Jerusalem Post)I decided to check out the Newsweek article, too:
However, Hirschhorn says her research, which took place over a period of 10 years, contradicts the belief that many American citizens emigrated to Israel because of their Right-wing beliefs, ultra-Orthodox religion or because of a lack of opportunities in the U.S. "What my studies reveal is that they were young, single, highly-educated—something like 10 percent of American settlers in the occupied territories hold PhDs, they're upwardly mobile, they're traditional but not necessarily Orthodox in their religious practice," she said, according to Haaretz. "Most importantly, they were politically active in the leftist socialist movements in the U.S. in the 1960s and 70s and voted for the Democratic Party prior to their immigration to Israel." She added that the mainstream picture of the American settlers she studied "is one of young, idealistic, intelligent and seasoned liberal Americans who were Zionist activists, and who were eager to apply their values and experiences to the Israeli settler movement."No surprise but I don't think Hirschhorn got it. I don't know for sure whom she interviewed, because it's pretty clear to me why so many Americans are in the yishuvim, and she's in a quandary.
|olim chadashim/new immigrants|
Nefesh b'Nefesh flight 10 years ago
You will certainly find many Americans and other anglos in the Leftist-nouveau-Judaism crowd in Tel Aviv, too. That's for the same basic reason. Making aliyah is not easy, and most Jews who do it from choice come from a strong ideology, whether on the Right or the Left.
Also, many of us American immigrants were leaders in our Jewish communities or Jewish organizations, youth movements etc. We stood out, stand out and aren't afraid to take a stand!
I don't know this Sara Yael Hirschhorn, but it seems like she's too closed in her Leftist bubble to see the big picture, and that's a shame.