Preparing to come out of the closet

For each passing day, the olim-by-choice lobby turns more and more into a feasible and realistic objective. Three months ago, I thought I was a genius, that we had the perfect plan, and just needed to organize it. Then reality, in the form of logical individuals, hit and clarified that, though on the right track, there was a lot of work to be done.

Three months later, two complete revisions to the initiative in the past week alone, and I am simply amazed at how far we have come. What I had thought was a fully formed professional and ingenious plan three months ago, now looks like child’s play. And here I was thinking we were swimming with the big fish! If not for a variety of intelligent and dedicated individuals willing to put time and effort into an idea that they believe in, we would more than likely still be playing in the sandbox.

I am pretty sure we will revise the initiative another three times next week, and again, the week after, but by the time we hit the Presidential Conference in nine days time, we will definitely give them something to talk about!

Our trial run is this week. Located at Haifa University, our mission is to gain exposure and bring more passionate individuals on board. Practice makes perfect as we physically begin to present ourselves to the public.

It is motivating to know that we are getting out there, and fast. Even more motivating is the level of support we are receiving. There is a clear added value to approaching the issue of an olim-by-choice lobby from the vantage point of concerned citizen outside of the organized Jewish World. As a previous Jewish World professional, I had never received the level of encouragement and support that we are receiving now, coming from the private sector. Soon, we will become an amuta (association), as there is no other way to be legitimized and to legally receive funding. However, as we make the transition into the world of politics, we will already be well on the right track.

As the ideas evolve, as we define our strategy, niche, and terminology, as we prepare ourselves for entry into the halls of Knesset, we do so knowing that we are forwarding a cause near and dear to most olim-by-choice, and much of the Jewish World.

Changing our country’s policies will not be easy. Closing the par between Israel and the greater Jewish World is a long-term commitment. However, we are olim-by-choice, if it isn’t us that are here for the long run, then pray tell, who is?

About the Author
Safra made aliya in 1997, and has been involved in the Jewish world both professionally and voluntarily throughout her life. She currently resides near Haifa and owns a small translation business. Safra is married and has one son.