6 Reasons for Aliyah

The Fellowship  |  October 17, 2019

Rabbi Eckstein and girls welcome Freedom Flight

“He will raise a banner for the nations
and gather the exiles of Israel;
he will assemble the scattered people of Judah
from the four quarters of the earth.”
(Isaiah 11:12)

You’ve no doubt heard this prophecy from the Bible before, but did you know that God’s assembling of His scattered people is still going on today? And did you know that this gathering of Israel’s exiles, aliyah in Hebrew, is being carried out each and every time that a Fellowship Freedom Flight touches down in the Holy Land?

While we know that the Bible promises that the Jewish people will be returned to their historic and God-given homeland, here are six major reasons why The Fellowship and our faithful friends continue to bring these precious people to Israel.

  1. Anti-Semitism
Swastika graffiti
https://www.flickr.com/photos/87347455@N00/8267182319 Nazis swastika spray painted on wall in Italy. Graffiti.

While one would think the world had learned the dire consequences of anti-Jewish hatred from the Holocaust, which happened not even a century ago, Jewish people around the world still experience prejudice and violence to this day. From terrorist attacks in France that have left many dead to terror groups across the Middle East that target those who practice their Jewish faith, Jews have found life to be dangerous no matter where they live. One place where they are free to worship is the one Jewish state, Israel, a safe haven for those who have fled anti-Semitism.

  1. Political & Social Difficulties
War in Ukraine
War in Ukraine

While many of us live in countries where we enjoy democracy and relative safety, that is not true everywhere. And in many areas where political and social upheaval have occurred, the Jewish community faces an even greater burden. Since the ongoing civil war broke out in Ukraine, Ukrainian Jews have not only suffered from the widespread chaos and destruction, but have been targeted because of who they are. That is not the case for those who have made aliyah and now call Israel home.

  1. Economic Hardship
Poor Ukrainian mother and children
The Greenkevich family (5) of Kharkov, Ukraine live on $78 per month and rely on Chai Family Services for Smart Card payments for food, medications and clothing. Mother in red pants and white shirt with hair in a ponytail looks down while holding a young child in pink and black striped shirt in a small room with peeling wallpaper. Baby girl stands in a crib behind them.

Many of us, too, enjoy protection from prejudice against our faith, including the freedom to worship without consequences to our jobs and livelihood. Again, in many countries, Jewish businesses are targeted, and Jewish workers find it difficult to get meaningful employment. Such economically targeted hatred might have been commonplace during the Holocaust and its infamous Kristallnacht, but it has never truly gone away. Those who make aliyah know that in Israel, they will not face such discrimination because of their Jewish faith.

  1. Jewish Faith & Identity
Freedom Flight

Can you imagine living someplace where you had to keep your faith and customs a secret? Many Jews do just that, in places from countries of the former Soviet Union to those around the Middle East. Unable to wear such religious garments as the kippah, and afraid to worship in local synagogues (in places where those even exist), too many Jews around the world have lost touch with their faith and religious identity simply because practicing them is either too dangerous or impossible. Not so when they arrive on a Fellowship Freedom Flight to Israel, a land where Jewish faith and Jewish life are the norm.

  1. Children’s Education
Beit Tzipora school
The Elie Wiesel Foundation operates two Beit Tzipora Centers for Study and Enrichment, school.

When Jews from around the world arrive in Israel, adjustment to a new life and home can be difficult. It is not as difficult, however, for their children, who will learn of God’s love and expectations for His people from a young age. While too many Jews have for decades and centuries lost touch with Judaism, generations of the present and future need not worry about that in Israel!

  1. Family in Israel
Rabbi Eckstein with grandchildren
group hug, group photo. RYE with his grandchildren – five children of Yael Eckstein’s.

When Fellowship Freedom Flights deplane at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport, those onboard are greeted by Fellowship staff and volunteers, by members of the Israeli military who serve them, and even by illustrious Israeli politicians and civil servants. However, many are also greeted by relatives and loved ones they have not seen in a long time. Making aliyah can often be a drawn-out process for Jewish families, with some members arriving in Israel long before others. And so, many new olim (immigrants) are just the latest members of their families to move to the Holy Land, with each new arrival not only strengthening Israel as a whole, but each of the families that make her such a special nation.

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