JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Jewish Agency for Israel invited Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler to apply to immigrate to Israel after the rocker said during his concert “I’m making aliyah!”
Some 50,000 fans cheered Tyler’s announcement during the concert Wednesday night at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv, the opening of its “Aero Vederci” tour billed as the band’s last. Aerosmith last played in Israel 23 years ago.
“Walk this way – to a Jewish Agency shaliach,” said Natan Sharansky, Jewish Agency chairman of the executive, in a statement, noting one of the group’s biggest hits and using the Hebrew word for emissary. “While some believe the Israeli experience entails living on the edge, life in Israel puts one back in the saddle of Jewish history, and we know Mr. Tyler doesn’t want to miss a thing. Theodor Herzl said that if you will it, it is no dream. Mr. Tyler no longer has to dream on.”
The Jewish Agency qualified Sharansky’s invitation, saying at the bottom of the statement that it “has no information to indicate whether Steven Tyler would indeed be eligible for Aliyah.” Tyler is not Jewish.
Tyler arrived in Israel over the weekend for the show and toured the country, including a trip to the Western Wall, where he bumped into the new U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, on Monday.
Friedman was in attendance at the Aerosmith concert, with the Israeli media showing photos of him in casual clothes — a change from his usual suit and tie.