The Zacks Make Aliyah
Oak Park couple believe Israel is the best place
to raise their four children.
SHELLI LIEBMAN DORFMAN
this summer's second Nefesh B'Nefesh
chartered flight left from New York for Israel
on July 22, on board were Oak Parkers Sim
and Golda Zacks and their family.
"This is the sixth year of the five-year plan to make
aliyah, that we made when we got married," Golda Zacks
said. "My husband just finished his MBA and then we
heard about Nefesh B'Nefesh and decided it was time to
The couple — each spent a post-high school year study-
ing in Israel — will live in Ma'alot, between Naharia and
Safed. "We both feel Israel is the best place to raise our
kids," Golda, 27, said of Naomi, 5, Avigail, 4, Yehuda, 2,
and Naftali, 4 months. 'And my husband wants to change
the country for the better. He has positive plans for the
While Sim, 28, is still looking for a job, his wife said,
"We are using everything Nefesh B'Nefesh has offered us
and we're using every contact anyone gives us. Sim may go
into business for himself, selling wearable computers."
The Zacks already have family in Israel waiting for them.
Golda's brother from Toronto is living there; and Sim's
MITZVAT ALIYAI-I from page 32
German Colony at Merkaz
Hamagshimim, a community and
absorption center for young adults sup-
ported by Hadassah. She will work as
production coordinator at Center Stage
Theatre, Merkaz's English-speaking
"I always felt, living here in the
States, that I was not quite on the
inside," Lewis said. "I always felt I was
explaining myself — explaining why I
keep kosher, what Shabbat is, what
Returning to Israel as an Israeli does
not diminish her feelings about her
birth country, said Lewis, who will hold
"I am still very much an American,"
she said. "Becoming Israeli never corn-
promises my American position."
Her hope is to return to the States
someday to attend graduate school, but
then go back to her Israeli home.
"I think about having children some-
day and I want to raise them in Israel,"
she said. "I want my children to be a
part of Jewish history, to be a part of the
Her wish is for her parents and sib-
lings to someday make aliyah as well.
Her brother, Aaron, 21, spent his first
Golda, Naftali, Sim and (ont) Yehuda, Avigail, Naomi.
brother, Dovid, 20, from Southfield is in the Israeli army.
"He doesn't live there yet," Golda said. "But we're hoping
he'll decide to stay"
The term Golda says her family has used most to describe
their move has been "bittersweet."
"But I don't think either of us is a drop nervous — just
post-high school year in Israel on
Habonim's workshop; and her sister
Hannah, 18, will spend this school year
on the same Young Judaea Year Course
in Israel where Miriam worked last year.
Any concerns Joe and Bobbie Lewis
may have about their daughter's life do
not include the fact that she has chosen
Israel to be her home.
"I am more emotionally torn by the
fact that Miriam is so far away from us,"
her mother said. "The difficulty is the
distance, not that it's Israel. It's too far to
go for a few days, even a weekend; and
it's very expensive."
The couple already have plane tickets
to visit Miriam and Hannah this
"I'm very proud of her, both for what
she has achieved in her life so far and for
having the courage to make this move,"
Bobbie Lewis said.
While Miriam doesn't find it reason-
able to expect all Jews to move to Israel,
she does expect Jews to support Israel in
whatever way possible.
"For me, the best way I can support
Israel is to be there," she said, "to dedi-
cate my energy, creativity and love to the
country and the people, to make my
voice heard and my vote count and to
show that Israel is indeed an option by
using myself as an example."
The "Prayer for One Making
Aliyah," from the Rabbinical
Assembly Rabbi's Manual, as
modified by Dr. Joe Lewis, reads
"May God who blessed our
fathers Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob, and our mothers, Sarah,
Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, bless
Miriam Lewis as she has come
today to honor God — who is
everywhere — the Torah and
May God, holy and blessed,
watch over her as she is about to
fulfill the mitzvah of choosing to
live in Israel; shelter her from
trouble and sorrow, from sickness
and pain; send blessing and suc-
cess for all her efforts in the Holy
Land. May she be able to cele-
brate our festivals in Jerusalem
with the whole Jewish communi-
ty, and let us say: Amen." ❑
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