Johnston, Zachary. “Aliyah Le Berlin: A Documentary about the Next Chapter of Jewish Life in Berlin.” In Being Jewish in 21st-Century Germany (ed. Olaf Glöckner and Haim Fireberg; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2015): 152-62.
The American movie director and producer Zachary Johnston shares with us his insights on the emergence of a diaspora of Israeli youth in Berlin. In many ways – second only to Fania Oz-Salzberger – he is one of the pioneers in identifying the phenomenon that he follows in his documentary, and he had done it well before it became a hot issue in the Israeli media in 2014. Johnston challenges the common Israeli set of values about migration. “One cannot use the term ‘aliyah‘ out-of-context without eliciting a knee-jerk response due to its value-loaded nature of the word, which is tied to the ‘ascent’ of Jews to Israel.” He adds: “Perhaps, this new age of Israeli and Jewish exploration in Germany has a higher purpose that has yet to be ascertained, that down the road the concept of aliyah will receive a something deeper, stronger, and broader meaning for the nation of Israel and its citizens.”