July 20, 2024
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Initiative to Encourage Aliyah Takes Unique Approach

The Nachliel Project grassroots nonprofit launches initiative to encourage American charedim to “make Israel home again.”

(Courtesy of The Nachliel Project) A group of U.S. expats has launched an initiative to encourage charedim from the United States to relocate to the Jewish homeland. Although charedim from the U.S. have long been frequent visitors and supporters of various institutions in Israel, the Nachliel Project hopes to encourage them to take the next step of reestablishing their homes there as well.

Long considered impractical due to difficulties in finding suitable employment and appropriate educational institutions for their children, aliyah was not taken seriously by the mainstream charedi communities and leadership in the U.S. However, recently battered by the devastating effects of COVID-19, a palpable sense of increased anti-Semitism, and what they perceive as a hostile political climate, some are beginning to give serious consideration to aliyah to Israel for the first time.

While on the surface immigration numbers still seem flat, American charedi school principals in Israel are reporting a record number of inquiries from American charedi families inquiring about schools in preparation for a potential move. This new wave of interest is further supported by the massive increase in aliyah applications from the U.S., as reported by Israeli governmental agencies.

Sensing the opportunity to make a major impact, the Nachliel Project was initiated to help foster and encourage this recent trend by providing information, education and inspiration about the opportunities currently available for charedi Jews seeking to return to their ancestral homeland.

Unlike other organizations created to help facilitate the different aspects of the aliyah process for those already interested, The Nachliel Project’s goal is to promote, encourage and motivate those who are still undecided about prospects of moving to Israel through a multifaceted media campaign.

What’s unique about the Nachliel Project is their approach that aliyah motivation and inspiration must be individualized to each community. “What inspires one group, turns another group off,” said founder and Director Avraham Shusteris. Coming from the charedi sector themselves, the activists behind the Nachliel Project feel that they are best suited to reach out to the community that they come from because of their ability to understand its unique needs. More so, they have a personal vested interest in seeing members of their own community make aliyah and succeed.

“Twenty years ago there were significant challenges in making aliyah from the U.S. and raising your kids in an Israeli environment that differed from your cultural background,” said Shusteris. “While there are still challenges, the recent development of American charedi communities have significantly reduced these challenges. Schools, shuls, job opportunities, housing, all exist to support an easier integration for the American charedi. Nachliel is here to help create the awareness and realization that today it is entirely doable and easier than ever to make aliyah.”

As part of the inaugural campaign, a video documentary series was created to portray the various opportunities available to the American charedim in Israel, including yeshivas catering to American immigrants, as well as employment opportunities and communities with suitable housing. Shusteris says that the goal of this series is to provide an opportunity for people to “see and experience different facets of English-speaking hared life that already exist in Israel and to encourage and inspire others to realize the future possibilities that are waiting for them here.”

Yoel Berman, co-founder, is concurrently spearheading a campaign to bring real-life experiences and perspectives of those who have already made aliyah to those who are still contemplating the move back in the States. He created a series of articles based on interviews with charedi immigrants to Israel and has distributed them in local newspapers throughout various Orthodox communities in the U.S., as well as national Jewish publications.

Going forward, Shusteris and Berman plan to expand these initiatives with the ultimate goal of helping U.S. charedim realize the special Divine gift—Nachliel—that is beckoning and waiting patiently for their return.

To find out more information about The Nachliel Project and to view their newly released groundbreaking documentary series, check out their website: https://www.nachliel.org/

For more information or to find out how you can get involved, contact Avraham Shusteris, director: 845-262-0125;
[email protected].

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