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February 05, 1982 - Image 62

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-02-05

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62 Friday, February 5, 1982


Volume Studies U.S. Immigrants in Israel


(Copyright 1982, JTA, Inc.)

With the drop in immi-
gration of Soviet Jewry, Is-
rael is looking increasingly
at Western Jewry, particu-
larly the United States, as
the next major supplier of
immigrants. Yet American
Jews, while united in sup-
porting Israel, are not ex-
pected to make aliya in the
large numbers that Israel
Since the creation of the
Jewish state more than
45,000 American Jews set-
tled in Israel, 80 percent of
them making aliya after the
1967 Six-Day War. Many
have returned to the United
States. Kevin Avruch in
"American Immigrants in
Israel: Social Identities and
Change" (University of
Chicago Press) points out
that of the nearly 13,000
American Jews who came to
Israel in 1970-1971 about
one-third returned to the
thropologist at George
Mason University in Vir-
ginia, has written an excel-
lent study of American Jews
in Israel that is scholarly,
but not hard to read, and
right on the mark. It cer-
tainly ought to be read by
American Jews planning
aliya and by officials of the

Jewish Agency both in the
U.S. and in Israel.
First of all, the book is
chock full of information.
It is worth reading just
for its description of the
immigration and absorp-
tion process and for the
explanation of the tech-
nical difference between
the Jewish Agency and
the World Zionist Organ-
Avruch points out such
facts as that two-thirds of
American olim have had
some college education and
40 percent some graduate
work, while 40-60 percent
did not belong to any Zionist
organization before immig-
rating. He notes that 84.4
percent live in cities as
compared to 90.6 percent of
all Israelis; 19.7 percent in
Jerusalem and 12.7 percent
in Tel Aviv. Fourteen per-
cent of American olim live
on kibutzim, at least ini-
tially, as compared to five
percent of all olim and three
percent of all Israelis. But
only 5-7 percent live in de-
velopment towns.
But what is important
about this book is Avruch's
theories about the motiva-
tion of American Jews to
settle in Israel. Avruch be-
lieves there are three types
of olim. The religious, who
want to live in the Land of

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Israel and who may or may
not be Zionists; -Zionists,
who want to build a Jewish
nation; and "culturalists"
who want to live in the "cen-
ter of world Jewish culture."
While many sabras and
longtime residents believe
that Americans and other
Western immigrants come
to Israel because of the tax
breaks for newcomers, the
overwhelming majority of
Americans do not come to
Israel for economic reasons.
For many, their economic
condition worsens. At the
same time, many leave Is-
rael because of economic
Avruch notes that be-
fore 1967 most American
olim immigrated to Israel
because they wanted to
help build the Jewish
state. But since 1967 the
reason has been to
preserve their own
Jewishness. Avruch
argues that these Ameri-
can olim had a conflict
between being Ameri-
cans and being Jews.
They were afraid they
would assimilate into the
larger non-Jewish
society, he points out. But
once in Israel, he notes,
they become more
"Having come to Israel as
Jews, the olim find them-
selves confronting it as
Americans," he writes.
The American oleh is
seeking a "traditional"
society in which everyone is
connected to each other,
which he finds in Israel, Av-
ruch stresses. But then he
learns about the bureauc-
racy of that society and the
system of "proteksia" in
which you have to work out-
side the rules to get things
The oleh tries to fight the
system rather than con-
form. But then he learns
how to work with that sys-
tem and the more he is able
to do so the more he is inte-
grated into Israeli society.
But Avruch found in
his study that the Ameri-
can olim, even the suc-
cessful ones, are still dis-
turbed by the lack of ra-
tionality, honesty, effi-
ciency and business
ethics. Where many
Ashkenazic Jews in Is-
rael worry about the
country moving toward
"Levantanism" because
the majority of Israelis
now come from Arab
countries, American
Jews also worry about
Levantanism but blame it
on all Israelis, including
those from East Europe.
This is not true of the Or-
thodox American olim, ac-
cording to Avruch, who, *
says, is less likely to be in
business and also less likely
to return to the U.S. The Or-
thodox Jew usually lives
among fellow Orthodox
Jews as he did in the U.S.
and is critical of the entire

Israeli society for being sec-
The . secular Jew who
wants to change seeks to re-
form Israeli society. The Or-
thodox Jew who seeks
change joins groups like
Gush Emunim, which ac-
counts for the large number
of American Jews in that
group, according to Avruch.
However, Avruch's thesis
that most American Jews
who want to go to Israel do
so because they seek to live
a more Jewish life should be
studied carefully by those
interested in promoting
aliya from the United
There is another point
that Avruch makes that
should be encouraging
for those promoting
aliya. It may also point to
a means of getting at least
some Soviet Jews to im-
migrate to Israel, at least
after their initial stay in
the U.S.

"Of the olim I surveyed,
some four-fifths had visited
Israel at least once prior to
their aliya; of this number
well over half had spent at
least six months in the
country," Avruch writes.
"The migratory stream be-
tween America and Israel
for many individuals, has
the characteristic of long-
term commuter flow." He
goes on to note that while
the perception is that the
number of American yor-
dim is high, many of these
people lived as temporary
residents and never meant
to stay.
"More intriguing, how-
ever, is this fact," Avruch
continued. "About one in
every 10 olim with - whom I
spoke had attempted aliya
before and had 'failed.'
Here, the pattern was clear;
these individuals, on their
first aliya attempt, were
typically aged under 30, and
they were single. They re-
turned to the United States
and worked, saving money,
with the goal of trying aliya
"In a few cases,. two un-
successful attempts pre-
ceded a third try. Whatever
the level of American yerida
is, whether a third or much
higher, it is clear that the
loss to Israel is not quite
absolute. People try again.
One oleh — himself such a
repeater — summed up the
situation simply: 'Israel
gets in your blood like a
microbe. People stay in-
fected for a long time.' "

Eugenia Pokart

Eugenia "Gusta" Pokart,
a member of Jewish com-
munal organizations, died
Jan. 27 at age 83.
Born in Austria, Mrs ,,,
Pokart , lived in the Detroit
area for 50 years. She was a
member of Cong. Beth Ab-
raham Hillel Moses, Hadas-
sah, City of Hope, Pioneer
Women and a life member
National Jewish
NEW YORK — The Hospital-National Asthma
American Bar Association Center.
She leaves her husband,
has voted to extend full ac-
creditation to the Benjamin Henry; a son, Sol; and a sis-
N. Cardozo School of Law of ter, Mrs. Harry (Pauline)
Yeshiva University.

Dr. Harry Hoffman Dies

Hoffman, a medical doctor
who practiced in Detroit for
the past 43 years, died Jan.
28 at age 69.
Born in the Ukraine, Dr.
Hoffman was a general
practitioner. He was
graduated from the Wayne
State University Medical
School in 1938, and was a
lieutenant colonel in the
U.S. Navy in World War II.
Dr. Hoffman was the cur-
rent chief of staff of North
Detroit General Hospital.
He was a member of the
Michigan and Wayne
County Medical Societies
and the American Medical
Dr. Hoffman was a
member of the American
Jewish Committee and
the Anthony Wayne
Society of Wayne State
University. Dr. Hoffman
was one of the first to
take his son to Israel


upon that country's
statehood for a Bar

He leaves his wife, Lee; a
son, Dr. Daniel of Denver,
Colo.; a daughter, Mrs.
Michael (Carla) Levin of
Chicago, Ill.; two brothers,
Dr. Louis and Dr. Ben; and
one granddaughter.

Israel's Justice Cohen Dies

Supreme Court Justice
Moshe Cohen died Jan. 26
at age 63.
Justice Cohen was ap-
pointed to Israel's highest
court only a year ago, but
his illness kept him off the
bench for the last five
months. He had served for
many years as a judge in
Jerusalem's Magistrates
Court and the District
Court and practiced law
privately between 1970 and
1975 while on judicial leave.
Mr. Cohen was born in
Greece in 1919, the year his
family settled in pre-state

Sol Granek,
Led Canada UlA

Israel. He was raised and
educated in Jerusalem
where he received a law de-
gree. He began his legal
career in 1950.

Israel Jobless
Rate Stable

According to the latest fig-
ures released by the Minis-
try of Social Betterment,
there is no danger of an in-
crease in the unemploy-
ment rate in the foreseeable
The number of job seekers
last December reached
34,328, with 20,032 job of-
fers. About 33,500 persons
were looking for work last
month, with 18,800 open-
ings. Some 14,296 were reg-
istered in December as un-
employed for a period of six
days or more. At certain
times last year, the unem-
ployment rate was more
than 15,000.
According to bive Em-
ployment Service, the em-
ployment agencies are still
unable to fill job openings
for lack of suitable workers.

Granek, a Canadian busi-
nessman who became
executive director of the
United Israel Appeal and
resident Canadian repre-
sentative to the Keren
Hayesod in Jerusalem, died
at age 71 in Florida.
Born in Poland, Mr.
Granek was brought by his
family to Canada at age 9.
The family settled in St.
Catherines, Ontario. He be- Jack Hertsberg
Jack Hertsberg, a retired
came active in local and na-
tional Jewish communal structural steel broker, died
life as an executive commit- Jan. 27 at age 77.
Born in Detroit, Mr.
tee member of the Canadian
Jewish Congress and Hertsberg was the founder
president of the Ontario sec- and owner of the Ypsilanti
tion of the Zionist Organiza- Iron and Metal Co. He re-
sided in Ann Arbor from
tion of Canada.
In 1961, Mr. Granek re- 1928 until 1979.
He was a founding
linquished his business
enterprises and became na- member of Cong. Beth Is-
tional executive director of rael in Ann Arbor, a found-
the UIA in Canada and ing member of the
moved to Montreal. He Washtenaw Country C1'
later moved to Israel where and a member of the Ame
he headed the Canadian can Steel Institute.
He leaves his wife, Helen;
office of Keren Hayesod
where, among his other as- two daughters, Mrs. Earl
signments, Mr. Granek (Joanne) Tushman and Mrs.
helped Canadian immig- Theodore (Carole) Baxter; a
rants to obtain loans. He re- brother, Leo of Ocala, Fla.; a
sister, Mrs. Max (Myrtle)
cently retired.
In 1950, Mr. Granek vis- Winslow; and three grand-
ited the remaining Dis- children.
placed Persons camps in
Europe as well as Joint Dis- When we are young, God
tribution Committee instal- forgives our stumblings;
lations. In 1956 he partici- when we are mature, He
pated in study missions to weighs our words; and when
we grow old, He waits—for
Jewish communities
our repentance.
North Africa.


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