Nesenoff ‘never been closer’ to making aliya

Rabbi who videotaped Helen Thomas is working with One Family, David Project and Nefesh B’Nefesh on Israel trip.

DAVID NESENOFF 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
David Nesenoff, the American rabbi and filmmaker who has been in the headlines since videotaping veteran journalist Helen Thomas telling the Jews of Israel to “go home” to Poland and Germany, said Thursday that he has “never been closer” to coming to live in Israel himself.
Nesenoff, who is in Israel for two months visiting a son in yeshiva and doing work with the One Family Fund, the David Project and Nefesh B’Nefesh, said he had “always considered making aliya,” and that he had been deeply moved by the support he got from Israelis after the Thomas affair generated what he said was “a lot of anti-Semitism” against him from around the world.
He said he got “tens of thousands of hate mails,” but that many Israelis wrote to him, “inviting me to their kibbutzim, to their offices.” He said he was visiting some of those who had supported him on this trip.
Nesenoff is also meeting with some of the families of terror victims helped by the One Family Fund, holding discussions with yeshiva students here under the aegis of the David Project about the importance of defending Israel’s legitimacy, and exploring how his “media, filmmaking and marketing expertise” can help Nefesh B’Nefesh encourage immigration.
He said he was trying to utilize his prominence in the wake of the Thomas affair “not opportunistically, but as an opportunity.”
Last month, Nesenoff gave the keynote address at a Yale University conference on anti-Semitism, in which, he said, he focused on countering Thomas’s call for Israeli Jews to “go home” by stressing that “Israel is home.”
“You can argue about borders and fences,” he said, but not about “the connection between the Jews and the land of Israel.”