This episode discusses the “ingathering of exiles” or “kibbutz galuyot.” Israel has brought Jews from around the world to their homeland since its inception. One of Ben-Gurion’s great visions, a state that welcomes any and all Jews, the Israeli government paid more than lip service about these ideals and absorbed immigrants from across the world. From Operation Magic Carpet for Yemenite Jews in the 1950’s, to Operations Moses and Solomon for Ethiopian Jews in the 80’s and 90’s, Israel has rescued hundreds of thousands of Jews facing persecution. In this video and educator’s guide, students will reflect upon Israel’s relationship with World Jewry. What does it mean to be a Jew in the eyes of the Israeli State? How far will Israel go to take responsibility for Jews worldwide? Ultimately, what is a home?
Watch this video and use these prompts to ask big questions and think independently and with others to offer answers that feel right to you.
Our whole prayer is that this gathering of exiles will increase and embrace an ever-larger multitude of our people, who will strike roots here and work side by side with us in building the state and making our unproductive places fruitful again.
Considering the remarkable diversity of Jewish refugees coming to Israel from over 70 countries, do you think Israel has been successful in uniting people from vastly different communities and cultures?
I found out that the story we had been told–that the Jews left the Arab countries because they were Zionists–was, for the most part, wrong. True, they had an affinity for the Land of Israel–that is certainly correct. But the organized Zionist movement was very weak in the Arab countries. The great mass of Jews left under duress. They were expelled. They were subjected to such enormous pressure that they had no choice but to leave.
When we speak about the “right of return,” we often forget that many Jews in Arab and Muslim countries were in fact expelled from their lands and oppressed. In what ways can we discuss this tragedy more in our classrooms?
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