On August 3, 2016, Richard and Loretta Schwartz stepped off a Nefesh B’Nefesh group flight into the embrace of the families of their two daughters, who had eagerly awaited this moment for years.
It wasn’t that they were opposed to aliya; in fact, in the 1950s, Richard Schwartz thought about joining a kibbutz because he so related to the ideal of communal living and cooperative efforts. The couple had long been considering joining their daughters, Susan Kleid and Devorah Gluch, who have raised their children in Israel.
It was just that the retired professor of mathematics still had so much he wanted to do before leaving the country of his birth.
But eventually he came to realize that he could not only continue his longtime environmental, social-justice and vegan advocacy work in Israel but also perhaps make an even greater impact.
“I plan to be actively involved in Israel. It is an ideal place to be an activist – a small country with many synagogues, yeshivas and other Jewish cultural and spiritual centers, ” says Schwartz, author of hundreds of articles and the books Judaism and Vegetarianism, Judaism and Global Survival, and Who Stole My Religion? Revitalizing Judaism and Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal Our Imperiled Planet.
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