Friday, February 24, 2012

"Sensible?" Be Sensible and Study in Israel!

I get all sorts of links to all sorts of Jewish Papers via email.  Most I don't even read, barely skim the headlines and delete.  I really don't have all that much reading time.  This morning, over my Mid-eastern coffee, I saw an article in "The Jewish Star" that got me curious, "Next Year in Tel Aviv." It's by a regular columnist there, Miriam Bradman Abrahams, who calls her column "Miriam's Musings," obvious to me that there must be a connection to my Shiloh Musings, which I've been writing for many years.

Like many committed Jews living in Chutz l'Aretz, out of the HolyLand, she has harbored dreams of living here.  In her article she writes that she had wanted to, but...
"...didn’t want to return to Brooklyn. I informed my parents I wanted to move there immediately, but was sensibly told I could go after graduating from Brooklyn College."
Honestly, what's so sensible about that? If you want to live in Israel, you need Hebrew and Israeli training. The younger one gets it, the easier it is to be absorbed in Israeli society. Israel also has perfectly good world-class universities which cost less than American ones. OK, for a girl in Brooklyn, living at home, that's a price that's hard to beat at the time she was studying. But most Jewish kids have to pay much more than the reduced or free tuition for new immigrants available in Israel.

The truth is that parents giving that advice aren't stupid.  They know that the longer they can keep their kids nearby out of Israel the less of a chance that the child will make aliyah, move to Israel.  Another myth is that you should stay abroad to save money.  The Israeli economy is stronger than most, especially the American one, today.  Healthcare is universal here, and you don't have all of the expensive tuition fees.  And back to universities, most American graduates are burdened with loans to pay back before getting on with their lives.  You won't have them in Israel.

Studying in Israel is like landing on one of the special shortcuts in CandyLand.  Yes, be "sensible."

PS To Miriam,
Please don't wait until you're in your nineties to make aliyah.  At least encourage your children to study here and build their lives here.  It'll make it easier for you in the long run. 
Good Luck
Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom!


Miriam Bradman Abrahams said...

Hi. I'm not sure if you read my entire "musings" or just the sentence that caught your eye. I used the word "sensible" in quotes because I was giving my parents the respect they are due as good parents who do their best to give their child the correct advice. They were doing their best to give my sister and me solid Jewish educations, having scrimped and saved as immigrants to the US to send us to Jewish day schools where we were instilled our Zionist ideals along with Ivrit, Torah and secular studies. Making aliyah is a goal, but it is not always the right time to achieve that. My path back home, led me to return to Israel another time when I met my bashert. Our kids spend a year in Israel studying, traveling and getting to know the land. Perhaps if one of them makes aliyah we will follow, and it will all come full circle. I agree with your sentiment about the younger one makes aliyah, the easier. However, each of us has to decide for ourselves when it is the right time for our life's decisions. We must each follow our own path. Chag Samayach, Miriam B Abrahams

Batya said...

Miriam, I doubt if you'll see this, but I'll write it anyway.

There are mitzvot that over-ride everything and yishuv haAretz is among them. The Moshiach can't come until enough of Am Yisrael are here. Rabbis who don't observe the mitzvah have no reliablity for poskening on it. All the "standard" bein adam liMakom mitzvot I do were against my parents' wishes.