ISRAEL

Israel calls for "Lost Jews" to come home

The Israeli authorities have launched a video campaign calling for people to report on Jews in danger of marrying non-Jews. Read more and see the video...

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The Israeli authorities have launched a video campaign calling for people to report on Jews in danger of marrying non-Jews.

Launched on Wednesday September 2, the campaign has already received over 200 calls. People have left names, phone numbers, Twitter and Facebook names of "lost" Jews, most of them living in France, the US and New Zealand. 

“This morose video harkens back to the notion of the rejection of the Diaspora”

Roi Ben-Yehuda is an Israeli writer based in New York.

During the Middle Ages, the Inquisition used to ‘inspire' people to inform on individuals who were secretly Jewish. Today, the Israeli government in partnership with the Jewish Agency is getting people to inform on Jews who are not Jewish enough.

This morose video, which harkens back to the [anachronistic] Zionist notion of shlilat ha'galut (rejection of the Diaspora), is calling on the Jewish community to identify "lost children" - i.e. assimilated and intermarried Diaspora Jews, and then send them on a year-long stay in Israel, courtesy of Masa [the name of the initiative, literal meaning 'journey'].

Oy vey, I can already envision my grandmother (Tata) calling:

Tata: Hello. Hello.

Masa: Shalom.

Tata: Shalom. I am calling to report a lost Jew.

Masa: Yes, please continue.

Tata: Not just any lost Jew, an Israeli living in the US.

Masa: Excellent.

Tata: How much is the reward?

Masa: Um, there is no financial reward. You will be satisfied to know that you are helping bring a lost sheep back to his flock. So how do you know this individual?

Tata: He is my grandchild.

Masa: Ok. How do you know he is assimilated?

Tata: Well, for starters he married a shiksa [a non-Jewish woman].

Masa: Yes. That is terrible. A sure sign that he is assimilated.

Tata: Don't get me wrong. She is a lovely girl. Smart, beautiful and kind. They are happy together. They even celebrate the Jewish holidays together. But she is not Jewish. She is not Jewish!

Masa: Well, we can take care of that.

Tata: Conversion?

Masa: No, no, in the spirit of Ezra the scribe, we are going to get him to divorce her and marry a nice Jewish girl.

Tata: That seems harsh.

Masa: Don't worry; in the end he will thank you. More importantly, you will have nachas [blessings].

Tata: Finally, an organization that understands me.

Masa: Yes we do. Mazal tov [Congratulations] on taking the first step. We will take it from here.

Tata: Ok, just don't tell him I called you.

Masa: No problem. It will be our little secret.

“Do you know a Jewish youngster living abroad?”

Translation by YouTuber "auc1".