Professor Adam Silverstein with Natan Sharansky
July 25, 2012 / 6 Av 5772
Professor Adam Silverstein, Senior Lecturer of Jewish Studies and Abrahamic Religions at the prestigious Oxford University in Britain, was very excited leading up to the ceremony where he would receive his Israeli identity document together with 320 other new immigrants from Britain, France, South Africa, and South America. “I feel that a dream is being fulfilled,” he said.
The newcomers arrived last week on the Summer Flights organized by The Jewish Agency. Upon arrival, they stayed at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel in Jerusalem. The next morning, the immigrants attended an expo arranged by The Jewish Agency where, under one roof, they were offered a range of services essential to citizens, in order to facilitate the process of integration into Israeli society. “I see great importance in the aid and embrace we give to new immigrants in the form of this expo that we hold here in Jerusalem, when they are taking their first steps in Israel,” said Yehuda Sharf, who organized the expo, together with personnel highly skilled in this important process.
Dr Silverstein, who speaks flawless Hebrew (and fluent Arabic, of course), has already been accepted as a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, where he will teach courses on Islamic Studies. “I am really happy to have succeeded to find work in Israel in my field of interest, and I feel I have returned home to my family, to the Jewish nation,” he said.
He moved to Israel with his wife and children, and hopes to integrate into Israeli society. When the photographers pounced on him, he said in the Hebrew of a Sabra, “…five minutes of fame..” and stood next to the Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky who gave him his Israeli identity card, which had been issued that very day.
“Wow, what a day!” he took a breath and looked around at the huge audience that had gathered in a hall of the hotel. Further back, the small children, young couples with children, sat and listened to what Chairman Sharansky told them: “Aliyah to Israel for one person closes the circle of the two thousand year-old dream of his grandfather and of his great-grandfather. This, obviously, is an important moment in the life of a Jewish person who is strengthened by his firm connection to his roots – to the State of Israel, to Israel, and to the Jewish people. Today, 43 percent of Jews in the world live in Israel, and we very much hope we can cross the border of 50 percent of world Jewry living in Israel. This is very potent.”
The new immigrants at the Aliyah Ceremony at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel were also honored by the attendance of Rabbi Shlomo Amar, and Ministers Eli Yishai and Sofa Landver.