Amid reports that American Aliya is approaching record levels, the always thought-provoking blog Lamed asks a question I have never heard asked before: If our best, our brightest, our rabbis and educators are leaving for Israel, what does that do to the communities left behind?
The question was originally posed by Rabbi Reuven Spolter in Jewish Action, and provoked many letters. To be fair, Aliya is just one factor amongst many in the shortage of Modern Orthodox leaders which he talks about -- but more on that later.
In the meanwhile, just one small point about the rising rate of American Aliya. According to reports, "in the first 10 months of the year, 2,240 Americans exercised their right to automatic Israeli citizenship," quickly approaching the 2,385 who made Aliya in the whole of 2003. Wonderful.
This very week, however, it was also reported that French immigration levels have reached a 30-year high, with 2,236 French Jews immigrating between January and the end of October 2004.
Ie. -- although the US has approximately 10 times more Jews than France, it still only managed to send 4 more Jews to Israel in the first 10 months of this year.