Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Guf B'Goof

Nefesh B'Nefesh (“Spirit in Spirit”) is an organization that assists Jewish youths, all born in English speaking countries, in immigrating to Israel. It gives them a stipend on top of the government one, arranges social activities for them, and provides general encouragement to "do the deed". All of this is lovely or revolting, depending on your views on Zionism.

My friend D. is a leftists with a capital L, which in this country means you're ususally not too staunchly Zionistic, but she's an open minded lass, not neccesarily too dogmatic and an American Jew who is sensative to the relevant world view. Her opposition to Nefesh B'nefish is mainly aesthetic: She attended one of their festive events with a friend who accepted their support, and couldn't stand the cheesy Yiddishkeit, the music, the aloof comments. D. is a first class party girl, and that was one unhip party.

This is why she started “Guf B'Guf” - “Body in Body”.

The first step in creating an organization in the cyber age is pretending it's a living fact and posting it on Wikipedia. Here is what you would have found on the Nefesh B'Nefesh Wikipedia page until yesterday, at section 14, entitled: “competition”.

Nefesh B'Nefesh has recently faced competition in recruiting olim from the rival Guf B'Guf organization. Based in Tel Aviv, rather than Jerusalem, Guf B'Guf solicits secular English-speaking olim looking to date virile Israelis. GBG events include pool parties, Hebrew-language speed dating and free condom distribution. As GBG was only recently founded, their inroads into the traditional NBN population remain unclear.

"What's 'Virile'?” I asked her.

"Kharmanim,” she explained.

Which is when I cracked up, but D.'s contribution to the page was not all comic material. She pointed out a very factual point made on an earlier section:

In January of 2007, Ambassador Danny Ayalon former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, joined Nefesh B'Nefesh as it's Co-Chairman. In August 2008, Ayalon joined the right-wing Yisrael Beitenu party and stated that the Palestinian citizens of Israel living in the Galilee constitute a fifth column:
"If the government of Israel does not act to have a Jewish majority in the North, then the Arab majority in the Galilee will declare independence and [demand] international recognition on the basis of the precedents of Kosovo, Abkhazia and [South Ossetia]."[1]

Which isn't cool. Since her friend's photo was featured in the article, smiling and waving her new Israeli ID card, D. added the caption: “Olim smile for the last time before diving into Israeli Bureaucracy, taxes and living expenses”, as service to those contemplating Nefesh B'Nefesh and Aliya in general.

Of course the real service we can provide to new olim is the actual, physical establishment of Guf B'Guf. I offered to appear bare-chested on all promotional material, and suddenly felt more connected to the Hebrew homeland than I ever did. If anyone else feels virile or Zionist enough to go Guf B'Guf with us, send us a message via Jdate.


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