Books That Tell The Story Of Aliyah

The repertoire of books covering issues related to moving to Israel has been growing in recent years.

Although truthfully the surge in self-publishing and writing activity among olim is long overdue.

Despite first generation olim constituting more than 20% of the Israeli population, there has been a relative paucity of first-hand accounts of the aliyah experience written by olim. Until recently, that is.

Whether you’re planning your move to Israel or are already here and looking to read the accounts of your aliyah contemporaries, these are some of the texts culled from the fast-burgeoning aliyah literature in English. You might wish to stick them in your back pocket before hopping up on a flight to Tel Aviv.

Becoming Israeli: The Hysterical Inspiring And Challenging Sides of Aliyah (Gersh, Akiva)

(Amazon | Book Depository)

Akiva Gersh’s book is an attractively presented compendium of 40 blogs discussing the aliyah experience.

The book gives voice to the experience of olim from a variety of different walks of life, including long-time immigrants and relative newcomers. Its pages elucidate their passions, motivations for coming to Israel, and some of their perspectives on how to best fit into Israeli society.

The book presents an interesting variety of anecdotal perspectives from those that have made the move to Israel.

Because It’s Israel: An Aliyah Odyssey (Miller, Arthur)

(Amazon | Book Depository)

Becoming Israeli represents the collective accounts of a variety of olim from around the world.

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But for those more interested in learning about one (pair) of olims’ experiences, Arthur Miller’s Because It’s Israel: An Aliyah Odyssey tells the tale of how Arthur Miller, and his wife Ronnie, made their shared voyage to Israel.

Because It’s Israel does a good job of capturing the humor that typically suffuses the experiences of moving to Israel and trying to navigate a strange — and at times frustrating — Middle Eastern culture.

Just Get On That Plane: Aliyah. And Why You Need To Make It. Right Now! (Greenspan, Yaakov)

(Amazon | Book Depository)

Second time e-book author Yaakov ‘Yanky’ Greenspan opens his urging to make aliyah by warning readers of delicate sensibilities that they may be in for a shock to the system. The warning fast proves itself prescient.

Just Get On That Plane is best summarized as an at times vicious, no punches pulled excoriation of the continued existence of the Jewish Diaspora — whose members Greenspan likens to “deluded dullards” fumbling among “dark pastures.”

For those who have made the journey to Israel and are looking for a literary sledgehammer to send to relatives in chul (abroad),this unapologetically offensive text just might do the trick.

Aliyah: Home, Hope Reality (Bernstein, Ariella; Losice, Avi)

Amazon (pre-release)

Available for pre-release on Amazon (release date: 15/03), in Aliyah: Home, Hope, Reality husband and wife team Bernstein and Losice have penned a sensitive and timely guide designed to help parents navigate the potentially fraught dynamics of their relationships with their olim children.

The book provides guidance on the emotional aspects of the decisions of those in the Diaspora to make the move to Israel as well as practical tips for parents facing the unexpected reality of having to rear fluent Hebrew speaking tsabra children who look to them as quaint immigrants from the old country.

The text comes replete with survey findings shedding a rare and important light on issues affecting olims’ satisfaction with life in Israel.

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