Despite an ongoing and bloody conflict, hundreds of families left the United States to immigrate to Israel on Monday afternoon.
Nearly 400 people from across the United States and Canada gathered Monday for a farewell ceremony at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Before boarding the charter flight Monday, the group was briefed on security measures and what steps to take when air raid sirens sound to warn of incoming rockets.
“This is a celebration — a celebration of our people’s resilience, perseverance and determination,” said Israeli Consul General Ido Aharoni.
It was difficult for some people to part with their loved ones.
“I’m nervous. I’m really excited for them, because I know it’s really where they belong, but it’s hard,” one woman said. “It’s hard to let them go.”
The group included 100 children who were immigrating with their parents.