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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Have you seen it yet? Everyone's talking about KuMatrix and Neo (-Zionism)

Have you seen the new hot flash film that has taken the web by storm?

Free Your Mind is already the topic on a slew of major mailing lists and discussion forums. If you haven't already, see for yourself what everyone is talking about. Some love it while others are - would you believe it - offended!

It was also written up on some major Israel news websites.

Arutz-7 reports that the film "calls upon the Jew living outside Israel to reach a heightened awareness of the Jewish project and awaken to his or her role in actualizing the destiny of the Jewish people."

IsraelInsider keenly observes that "in these days, as in the days of the Maccabees, it is those who fight assimilation and listen to their inner voices to pursue justice and Jewish destiny, who are bound to lead our people into a new world -- like, Neo, man! -- in Zion. I must not be the only one who emerged from the Matrix Revolutions feeling more Zionistic than ever."

And here's a bit of what people are saying on the blogosphere.

The film was linked to by joesttler and, ahem, pointed out by Pinchas. ;)

And it was posted as the very first comment on the super mega-blog Little Green Footballs.

Amechad summed it up thusly:
"PROS: Very cool, always pro-aliya
CONS: Too much of a copy from the Matrix. Temple imagery / too messianic. Imagery not convincing to non-Orthodox Jews."

houseofjoy inquires "Are you inspired or terrified?"

Zev's post you just have to see for yourself. And click through the links!

Ezzie of serandez declares "it's cute, and important to see."

And it looks like we hit a nerve with Mobius of jewschool fame. "I think the premise is a bit presumptuous and is, categorically speaking, way off-base. (Not to mention, I'm a bit put off by the whole Third Temple thing.)" After quoting a passage from New Jews: The End of the Jewish Diaspora Mobius quips "Galut (exile) is, like, so over."

It would seem Mobius is not a fan of Neo-Zionism...

Full post and comments...

Monday, December 26, 2005

Post Comments Here On "KuMatrix" Flash Film

By popular request, post all comments below on the hot new Aliyah flash movie "Free Your Mind." We'd love to hear your feedback. Just click on the comments link below and fire away!

You can watch the film by clicking here.
Full post and comments...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Oh Yeh! New Kummunique Is Here!

Kummunique - Kumah's Shabbat and Holiday Bulletin
Issue 12 Parshat VaYeishev 5766

Shalom! We are proud to present another issue of Kummunique.
This issue is filled with Aliyah and Eretz Yisrael inspiration - so enjoy!

In this issue you will find:

1. "Big Miracle" by Malkah Fleisher
2. "Esav's Kiss" by Yishai Fleisher
3. "Staying Focused On The Aliya Dream" by Talya Halkin
4. "7th Flight of US Olim Breaks 21 Year-Record for 2005"

Read the latest issue at the Kummunique home


Join Yishai and Malkah Fleisher and Pinchas on their US visit
Wednesday-night the 28th of December, 4th night of Hanukkah
6:30 PM at J2 Pizza in Manhattan - Be there!
Full post and comments...

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Kummunique - Kumah's Shabbat and Holiday Bulletin
Issue 11, Parshat VaYishlach 5766

Shalom! We are proud to present another issue of Kummunique.
This issue is filled with Aliyah and Eretz Yisrael inspiration - so enjoy!

In this issue you will find:

1. "Yaakov Avinu's Vow" by Rabbi Yissachar Teichtal
2. "Surviving Aliya: Olim and Patisseries Arrive in Ra'anana" By Talya Halkin
3. "God Is Cool Again" by Chaim Levinson
4. "Endangered Baby Elephant Born in Jerusalem´s Biblical Zoo"

Check it out at the Kummunique home
Or click here to open Kummunique in a Word Document
Full post and comments...

Friday, December 09, 2005

On "making it" in israel

According to a recent survey, commissioned by the Jewish Agency, and conducted by Dahaf - Public Opinion Research Institute, found that more than 90 percent of North Americans who immigrated to Israel between 3 and 16 months ago are "very satisfied" or "quite satisfied" with their absorption into Israel.

Here are some other points of interest from the survey (for a copy of the full survey, click here):
- The main factor explaining the variation in the level of satisfaction is employment (about 50% of those working in their field are very satisfied as compared to 41% of those not working in their field and 27% of those who are unemployed), while among the unemployed, the main factor influencing the level of satisfaction is the assistance received from organizations in Israel (52% as compared to 12%).

- About three quarters (74%) said that if asked, they would recommend Aliyah to Israel. 7% stated explicitly that they would not recommend Aliyah. The main factors explaining the variation are employment and religious affiliation (secular individuals tend to recommend Aliyah less than religious, ultra-Orthodox and traditional individuals).

- 80% of the olim received substantial assistance or a great deal of assistance from one organization or another (government ministries, the Jewish Agency , Nefesh B'Nefesh).

- A large majority of the olim have relatives or friends near to where they are living (76%).

Granted, I have been here longer than 16 months (going on 3 years now), but I must say that I am one of the very satisfied (and my friend Natan is amongst them, as well). To be totally honest, I don't know of anyone, on a personal level, who isn't happy with their Aliyah. Now, that is not to say that there aren't any hiccups or speed bumps along the way, and perhaps I generally associate myself with overly idealistic, passionate and proud Jews, but I do believe that the vast majority of those who choose to make Aliyah are more than satisfied with their decision to do so.

A popular mantra from many Jews in America is that they do in fact want to make Aliyah, but they are waiting until they can (circle all that apply):

* save up enough money
* get married
* finish college / graduate school
* gain work experience
* other
* all of the above

Now, this survey did not go into the financial situation of the olim who responded, whether they came with savings, and if so how much, and how they are managing financially here in Israel. However, I do not imagine that all of the olim who are included in the 93% who expressed satisfaction with their Aliyah, or the 74% who would recommend Aliyah to others are all rolling in the money or spent years saving up a ton of money.

I believe that there is more to a successful Aliyah and overall happiness in Israel than the almighty Shekel.

Thankfully, today, there exist organizations like Nefesh B'Nefesh to help with the financial side of Aliyah, Israel's Student Authority that offers olim either a free 1st or 2nd degree, as well as plenty of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes so that no oleh / olah chadas(ah) need worry about finding their (English speaking) soul mate.

The bottom line, as I see it, is that for any Jew who truly believes that Israel is where the Jewish People are meant to be, there is no reason why they must sacrifice their happiness to live the Jewish Dream that has no become a reality for so many.

Make Aliyah now, beat the Mashiach rush!

Cross Posted at Israel Perspectives
Full post and comments...

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Kummunique - Kumah's Shabbat and Holiday Bulletin
Issue 10, Parshat Vayeitzei 5766


Shalom! We are proud to present another issue of Kummunique.
This issue is filled with Aliyah and Eretz Yisrael inspiration - so enjoy!

In this issue you will find:

1. "Illness Buster" by Malkah Fleisher
2. "Kommemiyut" by Yishai Fleisher
3. "Adjusting To Israeli Life A Year After Making Aliyah"
4. "Jewish Agency Poll Shows Aliyah Getting Easier"
5. "Aliyah Figures On The Rise Again" By Ron Littman

***Click here to open Kummunique in a Word Document***

***Click here to open Kummunique as a PDF Document***
Full post and comments...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The North American Aliyah Revolution

Now that we have established the highest 3-year period of North American Aliyah was from 1969 - 1971, we must ask ourselves what was so special about the post Six-Day War period, which led to such a dramatic increase in Aliyah, particularly from North America - more so than any other period to date?
Israel?s victory in the Six-Day War of June 1967 rocketed immigration out of a mid-decade slump. During the three years following the war, 23,900 people came from Western Europe and 17,900 from the United States. The war also ignited Jewish consciousness among the 2,500,000 Jews in the Soviet Union. Combined with growing d?tente, the result was a new wave of immigration: by the end of the 1970s, 140,000 Soviet Jews had immigrated to Israel. (Courtesy of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

I believe that the answer is that the Six-Day war led to an infusion of Jewish Pride in the souls of nearly every member of the Jewish People, regardless of where they physically or spiritually found themselves. The miraculous victories on the battlefield in June of 1967 were clear expression of Jewish Destiny playing itself out for the entire world and Jewish People to see. The Jewish People had returned to areas of their eternal Homeland that until then had been off-limits to the Jewish People - to Judea, Samaria and Aza, the Golan heights, the Sinai, and of course, Jerusalem, all against what seemed to be insurmountable odds.

As emotional and powerful as the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel was, in 1948, very few North American Jews picked themselves up and moved to Israel, and we do not find the same dramatic rise in Aliyah following the Yom Kippur War as we do post Six-Day war.

The liberation of Jerusalem, in particular, had the most to do with bringing about the Aliyah Revolution (term coined by my friend Yishai, and Kumah). At the moment that Jerusalem was liberated, the 2nd most famous words uttered by the Jewish People - in this case, Motta Gur (and certainly in the last 2,000 years) were spoken:
Har HaBayit B'Yadeinu - The Temple Mount is in Our Hands

At that very moment the very Heavens shook, the foundations (and nations) of the world trembled, and the soul of nearly every single Jew in the world was lit ablaze. It mattered little whether one was a religious Jew or a secular Kibbutznik; both were equally moved by the historic and religious significance of the moment.

As such, in the year or two following the war, thousands of North American Jews began tying up their loose ends, picked themselves up, and made Aliyah.

Alas, one can ask why didn't more Jews come - why was the euphoria seemingly so short-lived?

I believe that the answer to that, was that the Government of Israel at the time, and particularly Moshe Dayan, were very much frightened by this fire that was lit in the hearts of the Jewish people, of the re-connection of hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Jews to their Destiny, to their Heritage, to their Land. As such, the government began taking steps to douse the flames.
Step 1: Relinquish day-to-day control over Har HaBayit to the Muslim Waqf

Step 2: Declare that Israel is prepared to "return" areas liberated during the war in exchange for "peace"

Step 3: Prohibit / discourage Jewish settlement in the newly liberated lands

As a result, today, Har HaBayit is being systematically destroyed by the Muslim Waqf and Jews are forbidden from praying there, the average Jewish Israeli has minimal connection to the Land of Israel or Jewish tradition and heritage, and the Government of Israel has already begun "Disengaging" from the liberated lands, and expelling the Jews living there.

All these actions, in addition to the Government of Israel showing an unwillingness to take the steps needed to defend Jewish sovereignty and the lives of the citizens of the Jewish State have methodically put out the flames that burned so strongly - the flames of Jewish Pride - Pride in what it meant to be a Jew - Pride in the Jewish State and Pride in the Destiny of the Jewish People that was just waiting to be fulfilled...

Today, through organizations like Nefesh B'Nefesh and Kumah, the Aliyah Revolution is coming to life once again. North American Aliyah is unique in that those who make Aliyah from North America are choosing to live in Israel, as opposed to running from somewhere else. The greater the numbers of Jews who make Aliya by choice, the greater our ability to defeat the cynicism, despair, negativity and corruption that so many in Israel are afflicted with.

The Aliyah Revolution, built on a foundation of unabashed Jewish Pride, with a love for all of the Jewish People, the Land of Israel and the teachings and Heritage of the Jewish People at its core has the power to re-ignite the flames of hope and pride within the hearts of our Jewish brothers and sisters - to inspire those who live in Israel to take an active role in the unfolding Destiny of the Jewish People taking place before our very eyes, along with the potential to encourage those not-yet-living Israel to come Home and be a part of the action...

That is the power of the Aliyah Revolution.

Cross Posted at Israel Perspectives
Full post and comments...

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Kummunique - Kumah's Shabbat and Holiday Bulletin
Issue 9, Parshat Toldot 5766

Shalom! We are proud to present another issue of Kummunique.
This issue is filled with Aliyah and Eretz Yisrael inspiration - so enjoy!

In this issue you will find:

1. "Birthright" by Malkah Fleisher
2. "Olah Temimah" by Yishai Fleisher
3. "The Month of Kislev According to Sefer Yetzirah"
4. "What's Hockey?" by Yocheved Miriam Russo

***Click HERE to open Kummunique in a Word Document***
***Click HERE to open Kummunique as a PDF Document***

Congratulations to Alex and Tzippi Traiman on the birth and brit of their son Mordechai Yaakov
Full post and comments...