Thursday, 16 January 2014

iDeals or Ideals?

We've read the history books and learnt about the great figures of the past - but that's not us, right? They lived in times when people lived for their ideals, not surrounded by the self-centred culture we are exposed to today. Nowadays, people just aren't as idealistic as they once were.

Having grown up in the UK Jewish community, I have heard these sentiments expressed in a number of forms on many occasions. So it is refreshing to see people breaking down the myths and showing it is possible to live for an ideal and carry it out.

This week, Gideon Bratt, Eve Minsky and Gabi Sacofsky made aliyah. All three, before and after their year on Bnei Akiva's Hachshara programme, have made huge contributions to their local communities, J-Soc and Bnei Akiva, including Gideon and Eve working on the Mazkirut. It's not a new thing for British BA-niks to make aliyah, but it is rare for three bogrim to jointly make a decision to come together, a very short time after finishing university, and as a natural next step after fulfilling senior tafkidim in Bnei Akiva.

The public nature of the aliyah, from the crowd that greeted them at Ben Gurion to the huge amount of Facebook publicity it generated, will have an impact far and wide. Younger BA-niks should be inspired that not only is aliyah possible, but it's something you can do with friends who share your goals and dreams to the extent that it would make them move countries.

The fact that all three had spent time in England between their gap year in Israel and Aliyah should not be understated. Not only does it show a huge determination to fulfil their goals, it also meant that they were able to inspire and educate hundreds of chanichim to make similar life choices.

With six previous Mazkirut members making Aliyah in the last year as well as many others, everyone connected to Bnei Akiva UK should reflect on what an amazing chinuch framework it has, and specifically that unlike much of society around it, the drive, passion and idealism of its leaders shows no sign of abating - and that is something to be inspired by.

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