J-Wire Staff, 2016
New National Holiday in Israel, Yom HaAliyah (full article)
The Knesset is expected to change Yom HaAliyah from a grassroots young Olim community movement celebration to a national holiday to be celebrated on the 10th of Nisan.
The holiday is expected to pass into law with the overwhelming support of both the Opposition and Coalition next week.
TLV Internationals, the largest Olim community organization, has been working with the Knesset to encourage the change.
“The purpose of this holiday is to honor Aliyah as a core value of the State of Israel and the Jewish People. The Aliyah idea of returning home is unique to the Jewish People and we look forward to celebrating the tremendous contributions that Olim have and continue to make to our society. Every Jew in Israel has an Aliyah story in their family.” Jay Shultz, founder of TLV Internationals and President of the Am Yisrael Foundation.
The date of the holiday will be on 10th Nisan which holds great biblical significance in Jewish history. According to the Torah, this is the first recorded mass Aliyah, when Joshua crossed the Yarden at Gilgal with all the Jewish people. The holiday will also be integrated into school education across the country (date to be 7th Cheshvan as schools are not in session on 10th Nisan).
Celebrating Yom HaAliyah on the 10th of Nisan began in 2012 as a grassroots community movement of young Olim, led by TLV Internationals, founded by Jay Shultz. The Yom HaAliyah Law was brought into the parliamentary limelight in the 20th Knesset under the leadership of MK Micki Zohar (Likud), MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beiteinu), MK Hilik Bar (Avoda), MK Michael Oren (Kulanu), and MK Avraham Negosa (Likud).
The law was universally supported with a wide consensus across the political spectrum, amongst the Coalition and the Opposition. The bill was co-signed by a significant number of other MKs representing all Zionist political parties in the 20th Knesset including, Likud, Avoda/Zionist Union, HaBayit HaYehudi, Yisrael Beiteinu, Kulanu, Yesh Atid, and Shas.
Organizations representing the collective will of millions of Israeli citizens, as well as Jews around the globe, have given their unwavering support for Yom HaAliyah, including the Jewish National Fund, Am Yisrael Foundation, Jewish Agency for Israel, World Zionist Organization, Hadassah, ZOA, Nefesh b’Nefesh, AACI, and Taglit.
President of the Zionist Federation of Australia Dr Danny Lamm told J-Wire: “The Zionist Federation of Australia applauds this wonderful initiative by the Israeli Government recognising one of the founding principles of the Jewish State, Kibbutz Galuyot – the Ingathering of the Exiles.
Aliyah has been the source of almost half of Israel’s Jewish population , that has made Israel the vibrant centre of world Jewry. This special day marks the truly remarkable contribution that olim have made to the State of Israel. We are also delighted that the over 14,000 olim from Australia will be amongst those in whose honour Israel will celebrate a public holiday.”