Making Aliyah
Making AliyahFlash 90

The famous Hollywood film director, Steven Spielberg, recently warned that Jews may once again have to fight for the right to be Jews. Spielberg and most American Jews have discovered themselves existentially threatened by a tsunami of anti-Semitism which is forcing them to rethink long-held conceptions and values. Additionally, the increasing anti-Semitism on college campuses throughout America and the hate-filled rallies against Israel have tens of thousands of Jewish college students frightened and confused. Should they hide the fact that they are Jewish? Perhaps join the pro-Arab protestors? Or drop out of school until the wild anger passes? What should these young Jewish students do?

A group of aliyah activists in Israel has organized a post-October 7th “Emergency Aliyah Conference” to address the crises which Jews and their college-age children are facing throughout the United States. Israel National News spoke with one of the organizers, the writer and film director, Tzvi Fishman, and asked why such a conference is necessary.

“Israel is at war, but there is a war in America too and the target is American Jewry,” he answered. “Major Jewish organizations are in a quandary over how to react, pouring billions of dollars into advertising campaigns they hope will stem the tide. Yet in Boca and Lakewood and Monsey and the Five Towns, it's business as usual. ‘The US government will take care of the problem,’ they say. ‘It will blow over,’ they assure themselves. ‘No troubles here in Boca,’ they maintain. They will continue to repeat these soothing mantras until one of their children gets harmed, Heaven forbid, at his or her prestigious American college. Until Kent State happens to them they will continue to cling to their illusions, but we, the students of history, know better. The time to act is now. How? By escaping from America as fast as they can. And by telling their children the truth that there is no future for them in a foreign gentile land.”

I asked Fishman if American Jewry can really be saved?

“The mission is possible if we help them to understand the temporary nature of Diaspora communities throughout our 2000 years of exile, and if we make the herculean effort to get young Jews out of the cultural traps of American colleges. We applaud the positive actions of the Israeli Government, Jewish Agency, WZO, Nefesh B'Nefesh and other aliyah-related agencies, but a more aggressive approach is needed. Those groups are basically passive, waiting for olim to come to them. They rely on the Corona crisis to awaken the Jews, the war in the Ukraine, and now they are relying on the backlash of post-October 7 world anti-Semitism to bring Jews to Israel. But that non-strategy strategy isn't enough. Just as Israel needs to be more aggressive in Gaza, we need to be more aggressive in Jewish communities and on college campuses throughout America. Tragically, the Government of Israel and its Aliyah branches have adopted the attitude that the Diaspora is here to stay. In effect they have raised their arms in surrender to a ‘Two-State Solution,’ which are 1) the State of Israel and 2) the State of Diaspora Jewry. In the aftermath of Oct. 7, this conception must be changed. There is only ONE Homeland for the Jews. The Diaspora must be erased, preferably through our efforts before Hashem erases it by far less pleasant means. Instead of trying to pump life-giving air (and billions of dollars) into perpetuating the exile, the Diaspora must be ended, as Ze’ev Jabotinsky insisted long ago. Now that Hashem has given us a renewed and powerful Jewish State, He does not want His children living in foreign countries. Diaspora Rabbis must begin to encourage aliyah. Diaspora congregations must establish funds to help people make aliyah. Parents must push their children to go to college in Israel. Chabad must jump on the aliyah bandwagon and hand out aliyah brochures in addition to Hanukah candles and Tefillin. And the Government of Israel must begin to build the proper infrastructure to absorb the mass wave of Diaspora refugees who will soon seek a safer haven in Israel. These are just a few of the proposals that will be discussed at the upcoming Emergency Aliyah Conference and then passed on to the official government bodies.”

Joshua Wander, another organizer of the Aliyah conference which is scheduled for May 1st added, “Things were already bad on US campuses prior to October 7. But nothing prepared American Jewry for what happened in its aftermath. Some of the most well-known institutions in America, like NYU, which was fondly referred to as NY-Jew, became battlegrounds for Islamic extremism and anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg as to what may happen and we need to start planning now for a mass exodus. On my recent trip to America, I discovered that although the Jewish communities are feeling the shockwaves they’re not yet prepared to make the move. We need to work on a plan of encouragement and concrete support in order to bring them home now.”

Rabbi Yehuda HaKohen, aliyah activist, instructor at Yeshivat Machon Meir and one of the founders of the Vision Movement ( analyzes the problem from a political and historic perspective:

"I just returned from two weeks in the United States, and I don't think I've ever seen the Jewish community there as consciously vulnerable and insecure as right now. There's a very palpable sense of uncertainty about the future. Both in terms of the fragility of the US-Israel relationship and in terms of how unsafe Jews feel within American society. But despite their awareness that the ground is shifting under their feet, too many of these Jews have fooled themselves into believing that they can solve their problems by voting for Donald Trump - thinking that a Trump presidency will save the US-Israel relationship and protect the American Jewish community. They need to wake up and understand that the US-Israel relationship has never been healthy. It's always been abusive. Even under Trump. What's different now is that the abusive nature of the relationship has become too obvious and clear to avoid seeing. These Jews need to also understand that the United States today is an empire in rapid decline. And as it continues its historic decline, its Jews will likely become less and less secure. They'll likely be scapegoated and blamed for all the social unrest and scarcity that accompanies the empire's collapse. We've seen this pattern before. But unlike in previous contexts where this played out, today's US Jews have the unique ability to come home to their own land and their own state, where they'll not only be more secure but will also have the ability to participate in rebuilding Hebrew civilization for the first time in 2000 years.”

The Emergency Aliyah Conference will be held at the Hibba Center in Jerusalem, 75 Herzog Boulevard, on May 1 between 5-8pm. Panel discussions will be followed by speakers with hands-on experience in American Jewish communities and on U.S. college campuses. An hour is reserved for audience feedback. Lone Soldiers and recent US college graduates will be present to add their take on the worsening situation. Other pressing Aliyah issues will also be raised. For further information call 058-400-5260 or 050-781-0595.