A Doctor from Teaneck, NJ Returns to Shaare Zedek for His Annual Stint as a Very Highly-Skilled Volunteer — But This Time Something is Different
By Dr. Howard Zvi Goldschmidt
In the 1950s, my Aunt Miriam and Uncle Zvi made aliyah to an agricultural moshav after undergoing a few months of training on a model farm (“hachshara”) in southern New Jersey. They were following in the footsteps of another uncle, who came to fight in the 1948 War of Independence and stayed for good. Zvi was thrilled with his high school teaching job and farming chores, but  Miriam was beaten down by waiting daily in long lines at the grocer, post office and bank in sweltering heat. They returned to the US, disappointed and disenchanted after just 18 months.
Over the years, a number of friends uprooted their families from comfortable suburban lives in the US in pursuit of the Zionist dream. For some, the economic and social challenges for themselves and their children were insurmountable. I greatly admired these friends for their courage and felt their anguish when things didn’t work out and they returned to the States.       
I have chosen an easier path for myself. I will take the citizenship without the hardship (“Aliyah Lite”). I will advocate for Israel from America, speaking as an American and an Israeli. I’ve always had multiple identities: traditional modern Jew, husband, father,  doctor, student of 20th Century history and art, dilettante, man of letters, long distance runner. I’m proud to add “Israeli” to this list.
Each of us has multiple axes of identification, including religious, political, nationalistic and linguistic. To ready myself for aliyah, I have struggled to become a “Hebrew Man” (great song by Ehud Banai, by the way). In the more >