Ruth Calderon, Executive Director of Alma College

Ruth Calderon, Executive Director of Alma College

These are poor commercials in my opinion.

The fact that they will “always remain Israeli” is true, and an interesting cultural truth. The next stage – help them to return home – is not essential, paternalistic, and blind to the interesting new cultural developments taking place in Israeli communities abroad.

The stance that Israel is the only place for a worthy and valuable Jewish existence is not acceptable to me, and has greatly damaged Jewish communities around the world. It seems to me that these days we are witnessing Israeli communities that in the future may well in certain areas maintain a higher quality of Israeli culture than we in Israel manage.

The government would do well to stay away from such crass interference in the decisions of Israelis abroad, and invest some of its resources into a reassessment of the role of Israeli and Jewish culture in Israel.

I must confess that in light of the fact that Ellul, Alma, Bina, Panim, etc have not received and do not receive support from the government, and have been battling for survival now for two decades, it is ironic that the government is trying to encourage more Israelis to return to a country in which no appropriate frameworks for their Jewish identity await them.

Ruth Calderon, Founder and Executive Director of Alma College

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