Great article in the Jerusalem Post about the insignificantly small numbers of Americans making Aliyah – only about 3,000 per year. The article is interesting throughout. Heres a good bit:
To Israelis, “aliya” refers to waves of refugees fleeing a cruel world to take control of their destiny in a place where Jews are an indigenous nation. The vision of Israel as a free Jewish political space, a refuge and a voice for a people that had neither, informs Israeli Jewish identity in deep ways.
But Americans have no parallel memory of destruction, and no experience of sacrifice. They are five generations removed from the Czarist pogroms that drove so many Eastern European Jews to America’s shores in the 19th century. Their Jewishness is a personal choice, as valid as many other chosen identities, and their national experience one of prosperity, freedom and social acceptance.
“Aliya” cannot mean the same thing in such radically different cultures.
Indeed, it doesn’t.