Rabbi Andrew Davids, executive director of the Association of Reform Zionists of America, makes no secret of the challenges his group faces as it tries to increase aliyah, or immigration to Israel, within the Reform movement.
One participant called it an “eye-opener” — a two-day conference aimed at introducing aliyah shlichim, or emissaries, to Reform Judaism and how the movement views immigration to Israel. But on that score — the priority that Reform Jews place on Israel and aliyah — the event presented a decidedly mixed picture.
Throughout high school, Max Chaiken kept asking his parents if he could go to Israel and they kept saying no.
First, the Teaneck teen was supposed to go through his Reform summer camp, but the trip was canceled — along with all Reform youth trips to Israel — because of the intifada.