The meaning of being an immigrant has changed significantly in the 21st century. The internet, social media and networks, cost of travels, homeland products of food that one can find all over the world, working far from home – all bring new opportunities to the idea of living in one place, but still feel deep belonging with the homeland.
Growing numbers of Israelis are living today in Europe. The book, Leaving Zion: The Israeli Diaspora in Europe (Pardes, 2019; in Hebrew), gives us a wide picture of their lives, challenges but also shows us a glimpse for a broader perspective around being an immigrant and having an hybrid identity.
Some of these Israelis still work remotely in companies based in Israel, in Hebrew, visiting Israel once a month since it is cheap and takes only a few hours of travel. They speak Hebrew with their kids, meet with other Israelis who live in their European city, and use Israeli media. Many of their parents or grandparents left Europe after the Holocaust or a bit before, to create a homeland for the Jewish people in Zion. Now, their children and grandchildren are moving back to Europe and make there, their new homes. In his book, journalist David Stavrou brings us their stories, stories that invite other immigrants and scholars to rethink about the meaning of living in two homes.