that of 33-year-old Dr. Moshe Eliezer Fisher, follow-
ly respond in Hebrew."
Because Moshe speaks fluent Hebrew, he often lec-
ing in the footsteps of his grandfather and name-
tured at hospitals on visits to Israel. Last November,
sake, and joined by his wife, Nessia, 32, and their
because of the security situation, he hesitated coming
four young children, all formerly of Southfield.
to Israel to celebrate a brit milah [ritual circumci-
Unlike his grandfather, . Moshe Fisher left behind a
sion], but in the end made the trip. He was invited
prosperous life — a nice home and successful medical
to lecture at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem and, fol-
practice — in the world's richest country. And, most
lowing the talk, Moshe connected with another doc-
unlike his grandfather, the first moments in his new
tor. Impressed with Moshe's work, the Israeli doctor
home were filled with fanfare and song, praise and
told him, "There will always be a place for you here."
thanks, all under the doting eye of the world media.
"The way he said it, Moshe recalled, "I was float-
Aliyah never looked so good.
ing off the ground."
"Because of my family history, I always felt I
He went to the brit at the Kotel [Western Wall]
belonged here,” Fisher said in an interview two days
and started crying when he realized a major obstacle
after his arrival. "My grandfather always intended for
to making aliyah had just been
his descendents to be here. When
11 4, top removed. He will begin work
the plane landed, I felt I was corn-
later this year in a clinic and at a
ing around full circle, restoring the
second position doing research.
namesake to the country."
The Fishers will make their new
home in Beit Shemesh, a growing,
Yearning For Aliyah
religious-secular city halfway
Moshe joins several family mem-
between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
bers already in Israel. They include
Moshe, who grew up in Toronto,
cousins, his aunt and his father,
was a cornea specialist at Henry
also a doctor, who was born in
Ford Hospital and division head at
Israel. In 1957, Moshe's father,
locations in Livonia and Westland.
Deputy Absorption Minister Yuli
Nessia is a native of Staten Island,
Edelstein is shown with Nessia Fisher, Benjamin, was offered a fellowship
in Montreal. He left Israel and
N.Y., a graduate of Yeshiva of
who is holding her new Immigrant
didn't return for 17 years, when he
Flatbush in Brooklyn and an occu-
made aliyah in 1974 as a returnee
with his wife and 3-year-old .
"I am very proud of what we
Moshe. But that aliyah failed as the family returned to
did," Nessia Fisher said. "When we moved to
Canada three years later to seek medical care for
Detroit, I wasn't sure what life for a Jew would be
Moshe's mother. For Nessia Fisher, the decision to
like in the Midwest.
leave America meant leaving behind three siblings
"But, after 16 months and having made so many
and her parents. "It was very hard to leave, but I feel
friends, it's probably the hardest place to make
they will follow us shortly," she said.
aliyah from. The only place we would leave Detroit
Despite the security situation in Israel, no one in
for is Israel."
her family tried to dissuade her from coming.
Her husband agreed. "People adopted us like we
"Our decision to go was very strong and our fami-
were born there," he said. "My wish is that I could
lies put their faith in us and in God," Nessia said.
lift that community and bring it here. Then I'd have
In m a ny ways, the Fisher story is unique, but it's
my favorite people in my favorite country."
also typical of other families who are coming to
In Southfield, the Fishers were members of
Israel at this time to live out their dreams and sup-
Shomrei Emunah Synagogue, and their children
port the Jewish people. Rather than fleeing danger,
attended Yeshivat Akiva.
the Fishers are here to continue what Moshe's grand-
"They have a very good grasp of Hebrew as a
father began eight decades earlier.
result of having attended Akiva Day School," Nessia
Over the years, Israel has absorbed hundreds of
said. "We've been here for two days and people see
thousands of immigrants, including many planeloads
them with the Nefesh hats and start up a conversa-
tion with us, and the children are able to consistent-
RETURNING TO ZION on page 16
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