Aliya

Three Generations of American-Jewish Immigration to Israel

Liel Leibovitz

St. Martin's Press

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a·li·ya, n., also aliyah. pl. aliyas or aliyot.
The immigration of Jews into Israel.

Why would American Jews---not just materially successful in this country but perhaps for the first time in the two-thousand-year Jewish Diaspora truly socially accepted and at home---choose to leave the material comforts, safety, and peace of the United States for the uncertainty and violence of Israel?

Still, aliya is a phenomenon that affects all American Jews. Understanding this phenomenon means understanding what is arguably the fundamental question of American Jewry; it is that question that Liel Leibovitz sets out to answer in Aliya.
Leibovitz focuses on the stories of three generations of immigrants. Marlin and Betty Levin, searching for excitement and ideology, traveled to Palestine before Israel was even created. There, with Marlin working as a reporter and Betty volunteering with the Jewish underground movement, the two witnessed the bloody birth of the Jewish state. Two decades later, Mike Ginsberg, overcome with awe at the heroic Jews who fought for their country in the l967 war, immigrated as well and was involved in much of Israel’s tumultuous history, including the Yom Kippur War. He was a member of Kibbutz Misgav Am during the famous terrorist attack on the infants’ nursery there, and he helped repel numerous waves of terrorists attacks on his kibbutz. Finally, Danny and Sharon Kalker and their children left their home in Queens, New York, to move to a West Bank settlement in 2001, during one of the most unsettled phases in Israel’s existence.

With a keen writer’s eye and unfeigned passion for his subject, Leibovitz explores the fears, hopes, and dreams of the American-Jewish immigrants to Israel and the journey they undertook, a journey that lies at the very heart of what it means to be a Jew.

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Chapter One

If there could be said to exist a certain look, a peculiar demeanor, which is ideal for journalists, then Marlin Levin chose the right vocation. Even as an octogenarian he is still a striking man, with a mane of white hair and a handshake whose firmness betrays nothing of the feebleness inflicted by the passing years. He is handsome, yet his looks belong to the nonthreatening variety, the kind possessed by generations of Hollywood supporting actors, pleasant enough to get people to open up and talk yet not overwhelming, the perfect equilibrium for someone dedicated to enticing

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Praise for Aliya

“The vital bond between American Jews and Israel comes from more than religious obligation or checkbook philanthropy. It is a deeply human story, lived out by those Americans who left the Golden Land to build and sustain and defend the Jewish state. With his portrait of three generations of olim, Liel Leibovitz has made this history affecting, informative, and indelible. To read this book is to read about a love affair---not perfect, easy love, but love tested by gritty reality, which is to say the only love that counts or that lasts.”--Samuel G. Freedman, author of Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry

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About the Author

Liel Leibovitz

Liel Leibovitz has made aliya in reverse: a ninth generation Israeli, he was born in Tel Aviv and immigrated to the United States. He became interested in the phenomenon of aliya as a child when his American cousins---the object of much envy---made aliya, much to his astonishment. A graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and a veteran of the Israeli Army, he writes for The Jewish Week and other publications. Aliya is his first book. He lives in New York City with his wife.

Liel Leibovitz

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Available Formats and Book Details

Aliya
Three Generations of American-Jewish Immigration to Israel
Liel Leibovitz

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
December 2013
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466860551
ISBN10: 1466860553
288 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
August 2007
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312315160
ISBN10: 0312315163
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 304 pages
$18.99
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