January 20, 2019

Israel Needs to Honor the History of Olim

“In the annals of modern Jewish history, few stories are as epic or as inspiring as that of the ingathering of the exiles from the four corners of the earth.

Since the rebirth of the State of Israel in 1948, more than 3.2 million immigrants have made their way to the shores of the Holy Land from more than 100 countries worldwide. Some have come here fleeing persecution. Others were motivated by the Zionist dream or religious conviction or animated by the hope of creating a better life for themselves and their families.

And yet, even though Israel was built by aliyah, and will continue to be built by it, we have nonetheless failed to adequately preserve and relate the remarkable story of the ongoing return to our ancestral land.

And that is why I believe it is time for the Jewish state to erect a museum of Aliyah, one that will encapsulate the drama and heroism, the fulfillment and pride, that have accompanied the historic homecoming to Zion.

Indeed, if one looks back over the past 70 years, it becomes readily apparent that some of our nation’s most stirring moments have been those that involved the rescue of Diaspora Jewish communities. Yet, how much does the younger generation know or fully appreciate these extraordinary tales?

Take, for example, Operation Magic Carpet, when the bulk of Yemenite Jewry, nearly 50,000 people, were airlifted to Israel between June 1949 and September 1950.”

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