Saturday, October 22, 2011

That Immigrant Mentality

I'm in Israel over forty years already, and I'll always be an immigrant.  My accent gives me away at the very first syllable.  And there's something about my way of thinking...  My neighborhood is a real mix of people, Jews from all over the world, and looking around shul, there's just something different in the way many of the immigrants, even the most veteran like myself, dress or move, compared to those who have spent their lives in Israel.  Sometimes it's our body language or the way we wear our sneakers. 

What do you think?

There are veteran immigrant families whose children have only, or mostly, married other children of immigrants.

There's something in our sense of humor, too.  I can't watch Israeli "cultural" talk shows on TV.  I find them totally stupid.  Or maybe I'm the stupid one.  It's not that I find American shows interesting either.  I live in a different world.

I find it rather ironic that Jewish immigrants to the United States played a large part in the early days of the film industry.  Seraphic Secrets writes about some of the early films.  Though those Jews tried to be "real Americans" they did produce some films with Jewish story lines.

In recent years some of Israel's most successful films have shown the Jewish side to life in Israel, like  Ushpizin and Yossi Cedar's recent Footnote.

American sports have been getting more and more popular in Israel, like tackle football, yes, you may remember that one of my sons plays on Big Blue Jerusalem Lions.  Most of the players are Israeli born and raised just like he is.

I can't get rid of my "immigrant mentality."   There are certainly other American things I would prefer Israelis to bring here, rather than tackle football.

Did I ever tell you about when I used to sell bagel sandwiches in Jerusalem?


rutimizrachi said...

One of my sons also plays American football at Kraft -- and his father coaches. I can't imagine them giving it up to become "more Israeli." It has helped them to find a place for themselves in this very strange new land.

I still love what comic David Kiliminick said: "Ah oleh can never hope to become Israeli. The best he can hope for is 'chamood.'" I have, indeed, arrived! ;-)

Batya said...

So maybe you should just call yourself, rutichamoodi...
The American football has quite a following even among those kids who weren't raised bicultural or American.