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Leading a community Aliyah to Israel | Rabbi Nesanel Cadle

Updated: Aug 11, 2022

Rabbi Cadle is leading his community's epic move to Israel, together.

Many of the challenges of Aliyah are alleviated when communities make Aliyah together. Rabbi Nesanel Cadle is leading a group, primarily from Yardley, PA in the United States, to settle in the Northern Israel city of Afula. IY"H they will begin their first year this summer as a new English speaking community with schools and a shul. Word speeds quickly and many families across Israel are watching them closely while some are already planning to join them in the North.

But how did this story begin? What were some of the challenges they faced in this process? What decisions went into this momentous move? What is unique about the community Aliyah model in contrast to joining a preexisting English speaking community in Bet Shemesh and elsewhere? These questions and more have captivated the American Orthodox community's attention and have many other communities stateside are now asking, "Can it be done?"

Everything goes after the head

According to Rabbi Cadle this journey began with a story from the pulpit one Shabbat morning where he shared powerful Torah lesson he had heard from HaRav Michel Twerski, Shlita from Milwaukee, WI about leaving Egypt. Inspired congregants approached Rabbi Cadle about their own journey to the Holy Land and after slowing things down the congregants persisted and proved they were serious forcing Rabbi Cadle to begin working with lay leaders to put a plan together and get the ball rolling. Although the process from planning to action has been arduous and the obstacles have been many, this summer the first group will be arriving in Eretz Yisrael to begin their first year together in Northern Israel.

Planning is crucial

Many decisions went into deciding not just where to settle but also how they would provide schooling for children of all ages. Although there were many upsides to moving into a pre-established community such as Bet Shemesh, they chose to move up north and start their own English speaking community for a number of reasons. The rising costs of real estate in Israel and in Bet Shemesh in particular helped motivate the group to look into other cities in the Holy Land. That is when they met Rabbi Menachem Gold, a veteran English speaking rabbi on the ground in Afula who offered to assist this community effort. Rabbi Gold is the Deputy Mayor of Afula and was able to open doors and orchestrate important components on the ground for the community planning some seven thousand miles away. Mrs. Batsheva Goldman from Operation Home Again lives in Israel and also played an important role throughout the process.

Why Afula?

Rabbi Cadle learned at the world renowned Ponovez Yeshiva in Bnei Brack and so this will be a sort of home coming in some regards albeit a far drive from his alma mater. I asked him why he chose the format in which they decided, a stand alone English speaking community on the outskirts of a larger Israeli city. Afula has a large religious Israeli population and infrastructure. Unlike Bet Shemesh where families can literally never learn Hebrew and everyone will speak English with them, the community members in Afula will interact with the greater Afula Israeli community which has potential to more rapidly facilitate integration. In Bet Shemesh English has become the normative language and families rarely have to interact in Hebrew with vendors and while shopping.

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These and many other fascinating insights that both community leaders and laypeople alike can glean from this interview. We hope this will be helpful for others who are considering similar journeys or perhaps to help yet others begin to dream big. Watch the interview now.

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