Call to bar criminals from aliyah

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 12, 2009

The arrests of two alleged killers who were allowed to immigrate to Israel despite previous brushes with the law have strengthened calls for a change in the Law of Return.

Yaakov (Jack) Teitel, who was arrested a month ago by the Shin Bet (Security Service), is suspected of carrying out a long list of terror attacks on Palestinians, left-wing and gay-rights activists, messianic Jews and police, including two murders of Palestinians in 1997. The murders were carried out while Teitel was still an American tourist living on the Kfar Tapuach settlement.


Murder raises questions over Israeli immigration

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 5, 2009

It took the police only six days to crack Israel’s most vicious murder, but despite the arrest of the alleged killer and his detailed confession, the case has raised serious questions about the country’s immigration policy.


Rabbi compares Jewish Agency to rioters

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2009

The rabbi in the centre of the row over gender segregation at the Western Wall has compared the Jewish Agency to the Jerusalem rioters.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, has previously demanded more stringent gender segregation at the Western Wall, causing the Jewish Agency to halt all ceremonies for new olim at the Kotel.

The head of immigration and absorption at the Jewish Agency, Paula Edelstein, refused to segregate men and women during the ceremony, and the organisation will now hold the presentation at its own headquarters in Jerusalem.


Jewish Agency stops Western Wall ceremonies

By Jessica Elgot, October 13, 2009

New Israeli citizens will no longer have their immigration ceremony held at the Western Wall after a row erupted over gender segration at the Kotel.

Instead of a ceremony at the Wall, in which new olim are presented with their Israeli passports and identity cards, the Jewish Agency will hold the event at the Jewish Agency Courtyard.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, has previously demanded more stringent gender segregation at the Western Wall, causing a rift between him and the head of immigration and absorption at the Jewish Agency, Paula Edelstein.


Only aliyah can save Israel

By Uzi Silber, October 8, 2009

Hiking through a Galilean meadow during army service in pre-intifada 1985, a childhood friend approached a severely weathered and abandoned wooden shed. Drawing closer, he was able to decipher a message sprayed on to one of its crumbling walls.

“The future is ours,” averred the roughly scrawled words, whose Hebrew penmanship and spelling suggested the hand of a non-Jew; an Arab field worker, perhaps. The implication of the message was clear: the future won’t be “owned” by those who possess the present — namely Jews.


Aliyah-bid couple to get help from shul

By Simon Rocker, August 6, 2009

A South London synagogue has rallied to the support of a family of black converts who have waited two years for approval to make aliyah.

Carl and Maleka Levy were recently told by Israel’s Ministry of Interior that they must fly out to Israel to attend an official hearing to prove their Jewish credentials.

Now Bromley Synagogue, which the Levys and their five daughters attend, has agreed to underwrite the cost of the couple’s trip to Israel in order to state their case.


Sharansky to head Jewish agency

June 26, 2009

The former Soviet Prisoner of Zion, Natan Sharansky, has been elected chairman of the Jewish Agency. The vote, on Thursday evening, was unanimous despite initial concerns by American delegates.

Mr Sharansky, born in 1948 in the Ukraine, became the symbol of the movement to free Soviet Jewry, spending years in Soviet prison in isolation and forced labour. In 1986, after international pressure, he was freed and came to Israel.


Aliyah interest rises as British recession bites

By Ben Jaglom, March 26, 2009

A combination of the credit crunch and rising antisemitism is encouraging more British Jews to consider buying homes in Israel, according to exhibitors and visitors at an Israel property fair in London.

Among the 200 browsers at the Marriott Hotel Swiss Cottage was retired engineer David Marks, 65, who observed: “This country has declined significantly over the last few years. Though I own my own house, I will be unable to afford to pay the council tax on my property once my wife stops working.


Julia Neuberger tells students to shun aliyah

By Simon Rocker, March 26, 2009

Baroness Neuberger, the president of Liberal Judaism, has told British gap-year students in Israel to return home to be community leaders rather than settle in Israel.

She made the point this week during a keynote address at the five-day convention of the World Union of Progressive Judaism in Jerusalem.

Speaking on her return to the UK, Baroness Neuberger said she had wanted to emphasise that if Zionist youth groups encouraged all its gap-year graduates to go to Israel, then “what hopes for leadership for us?”


Legal help for aliyah family

By Simon Rocker, February 5, 2009

The Israeli High Court has been asked to intervene on behalf of a black family from south London who have been waiting to go on aliyah for more than 18 months.

Israel’s Ministry of Interior has so far offered no explanation for delaying the emigration of Carl and Maleka Levy, and their five daughters.

The family, who converted under Reform auspices in the UK, had hoped to begin a new life in Ashkelon in August 2007.

Now the Israel Religious Action Centre has filed a petition on behalf of the Levys to the courts.