Benji Lovitt
Because the Middle East is Funny
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Fake immigrant profiles uncovered!

The olim you never met on your aliyah flight, happy to be settling down in the Jewish homeland
Illustrative. New immigrants arrive to Ben Gurion airport in Israel. (Gideon Markowicz/ FLASH90)
Illustrative. New immigrants arrive to Ben Gurion airport in Israel. (Gideon Markowicz/ FLASH90)

In a story which broke last week, The Times of Israel confirmed that the Ministry of Absorption had fabricated aliyah success stories, using fictitious names and stock image photos to encourage immigration. Further investigation has uncovered some of the fake profiles, previously thought to be actual immigrants. 

Rivka Silverberg
Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
Favorite Israeli tradition: Yom Haatzmaut BBQ/mangal, burning (live) meat

“I love Tel Aviv! There is nothing better than Shabbat on the beach, drinking arak, and playing matkot with my pet dragon Bamba. What took me so long to come home?”

Moishe Goldfarb
Manchester, England
Zionist dream: Long-term shlichut on Planet Melmac

“I came so far to get here, it sometimes feels like another planet. I could never have adjusted if not for my wonderful host family, and the food is fantastic! But why does everyone complain about the cats?”

Fleur Dubovski
Paris, France
Favorite Israeli beverage: Tea (Party) with nana (mint leaves)

“Everything feels so familiar to me here! In fact, I can see Russia from Bat Yam!”

Alexei Polivkin
Kiev, Ukraine
Most meaningful experience: Working as volunteer firefighter on Masa program

“I don’t know if I would have made aliyah if not for the incredible health care I received during my Masa internship. At an out-of-control Lag B’Omer party, I suffered third-degree burns on my face and spent three weeks recovering in Hadassah Hospital. My experience there inspired me to earn my graduate degree in sleep studies (completely free under the age of 30).”

Claire Levine
Sydney, Australia
Favorite Shabbat activity: Melting in the Dead Sea

“Ever since I moved to the Negev, life has been perfect! Just as Ben-Gurion dreamed, I too hope to ‘make the desert broom’ ” (cackles uncontrollably).

Simon Borstein
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Professional aspiration: Become attorney general


“Israel is MY home!!!! (pounds fist) Everyone is against ME! Israelis should thank me for making aliyah because ONLY I CAN RESCUE THIS COUNTRY!!!!!!”

Victor Rodriguez
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tip to future olim: Avoid exorbitant Israel bank fees by hoarding cash in your offshore account

“Israel is a beautiful nation.. It has felt like my home from the moment I arrived. It is almost a shame that I have to share it!”

Purchase tickets here for Benji Lovitt’s standup comedy show in Tel Aviv Thursday night. To book him in Israel or abroad, contact him here.

About the Author
Since making aliyah in 2006, Benji Lovitt has performed stand-up comedy and educational programs for groups including Jewish Federations, Chabads, synagogues, Masa Israel Journey, and Birthright Israel. His perspectives on aliyah and Israeli society have been featured on Israeli TV and radio and in publications such as USA Today, Time Magazine, the BBC, and more. Benji has worked as a cross-cultural trainer with groups including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Masa Israel and is a popular presenter on the Limmud International circuit. During 2014's Operation Protective Edge, his humorous observations on the war led to his being called in Israel "the only reason to go on Facebook.”
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