Sunday, August 05, 2007


I'm on a quest to find novelists who write on Francophilic-Zionistic themes, so I am now going to have to track down books by Michael Sebban. Sebban is quoted in a story on the Jewish Agency website, and he has a pragmatic, interesting, and depressing take on France and aliyah:

Michael Sebban, a philosophy teacher in a suburban high school north of Paris where most students are of North African Muslim origin, lived in Jerusalem for several years before returning to France.

"French Jews idolize Israel, much more than American Jews. They know Israel much better than American Jews," he said. But, he noted, "The real problem is finding work in Israel, because there isn't any work."

Sebban talked about many professionals and businesspeople who live "chetzi-chetzi" - half and half - in Israel and in France.

"Take the last flight to Ben Gurion before Shabbat and you'll see people working in Paris and joining their families for the weekend in Israel," he said. "People are taking the plane now the way they used to take the train. They cannot maintain the same lifestyle working in Israel."

He scoffed at Jewish Agency efforts to match up potential immigrants with Israelis working in their fields.

"Aside from finding occasional jobs for people, what can the agency do?" he said. "There aren't any jobs in Israel. And unemployment in France already is the highest in history."

But, Sebban added, "If there were jobs to be filled in Israel like there are in the States, the Jewish Agency would be swamped with candidates, because among young people in France everyone is talking about making aliyah. Many are fed up and afraid, and the agency knows it."

1 comment:

Miss Worldwide said...

They also call it "Aliyah-Boeing".