Knesset member Rabbi Dov Lipman told his aliyah story to the Young Israel of Woodmere last week, reflecting on his life in the Knesset and in Israel.
“I would like to inspire people to make aliyah,” he told The Jewish Star prior to his Tuesday evening address. “If 100,000 North Americans picked up and moved to Israel, it would have a major impact in improving Israel. Anything I can do to get people to explore that option I view as my responsibility.”
During Rabbi Lipman’s three-day visit to the U.S., he spoke to the International Lion of Judah Conference, a major Jewish Federations of North America women’s charity event, as well as in Woodmere and Riverdale where he appeared on behalf of Nefesh B’Nefesh.
“People who make aliyah out of choice bring an ideology, a freshness,” he told The Star. “Israelis tell me that it inspires them, the Zionist spirit. [North Americans] are very tolerant, open, accepting people.”
Rabbi Lipman said that in Israel he finds that people are put in “boxes,” which leads to polarization. “Their fresh approach to Judaism will heal the fractures in society.”
He cited the yeshiva community as an example of showing Israel that it is possible to be in the yeshiva world and be educated in the secular world as well, something that he said is “much needed in Israel.
“The more charedim go to work, the more they realize secular society is not as bad as they thought and secular society sees that the charedim are wonderful people,” with CEOs observing that they are “wonderful employees” and serve as a “unity interface,” he said.
“They can disagree ideologically and have different lifestyles but coexist and work well together, bringing down the barriers.”
Rabbi Lipman complained that after 12 years of Jewish day school education he found himself, on making aliyah, not fluent in Hebrew.
“That’s unconscionable,” he said.