Scrubs star Zach Braff has urged his fellow American Jews to make a trip to Israel at least once in their lifetime – so they can experience a true sense of “community”.
The actor recently flew in to Israel, where he has enjoyed doing “all the touristy things”, visiting the towns of Jerusalem, Jaffa and Eilat.
But he’s spent most of his time in Tel Aviv – and he’s reluctant to leave.
He told Haaretz.com: “I was a teenager (when I first came here) – I couldn’t really appreciate it as much, and now I come back as an adult and I can really get the flavour of the city, and I love it. What I really wanted to do is live in the city and feel like a Tel Avivian.”
And Braff admits he feels more at ease with locals in Israel than back in his native U.S.
He added: “As an American Jew it’s an amazing feeling to come to a place where you feel you belong. You know we’re such a minority in the U.S. Even though I grew up in New Jersey, which was very Jewish, and then I went to school in Chicago, which was Jewish, and then I moved to New York, which is very Jewish, and then I went to Hollywood, which is very Jewish. But they say we’re only two per cent of the population and shrinking because of intermarriage. You just feel this amazing sense of community (in Israel). We hear so much about Israel and politics with the Palestinians and you feel so separate from it. So I really wanted to see for myself.
Braff added: “As a Jew I think it’s really important to come to this place. There is such a tremendous sense of community, tremendous bond for obvious reasons. I don’t know if Israelis have a sense of it because they live here, but I love it.”
And Braff’s experience has inspired him so much, he’s making plans to write a movie “about an American Jew who visits Israel”.
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