When Erin Erskine found Tal on OkCupid, she messaged him, “I want to learn Hebrew. Would you be my conversation partner?” “What do I get out of this?” Tal asked. “The chance to talk to me.” At the time, Erin was living in Chicago and Tal was in Israel, but the two began communicating daily—first in Facebook messages and then on Skype.
When Oleh Ben Zion Bokser’s family asked him to join them for a week in Switzerland this past August, he politely declined. “It didn’t feel right to leave Israel this summer,” he said. Bokser, a 28-year-old tour guide who made Aliyah from New York in 2010, was not alone in his decision. Since the beginning […]