An El Al Boeing 777 chartered by Nefesh B’Nefesh arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv on Tuesday 13 Tammuz carrying 218 new immigrants from 17 US states, and two Canadian provinces to Israel to begin their new lives as Israeli citizens. The flight was facilitated in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah & Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, and JNF-USA.
The flight’s passengers included a diverse mix of Olim from 17 US states and two Canadian provinces, including former servicemen from three different US Armed Forces units, families of all sizes, young professionals and others.
A festive ceremony took place for the newcomers at Ben-Gurion Airport, to welcome the new olim to their new home. Notable guests at the ceremony included: Minister of Aliyah & Immigrant Absorption, Sofa Landver; Chairman of the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption & Diaspora Affairs, MK Avraham Neguise; Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky; World Chairman of KKL-JNF, Danny Atar; and Founders of Nefesh B’Nefesh, Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and Tony Gelbart.
“We are celebrating today the Aliyah of hundreds of new olim who will begin their lives in the Jewish State, many of whom are modern-day pioneers moving to Israel’s North and South,” said Nefesh B’Nefesh Co-Founder and Executive Director Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. “The thousands of Jews that will be returning to their homeland from the Diaspora over the course of this year are an inspiration to us all in helping to spearhead the future of the State of Israel.”
Today’s planeload of olim is the first of two charters, which, along with nine group aliyah flights and olim arriving independently on a daily basis, will bring 2,000 olim making aliyah through Nefesh B’Nefesh this summer. Since 2002, Nefesh B’Nefesh, together with its partners, has brought nearly 50,000 Olim to Israel from the US, Canada and the UK.
“On behalf of myself and the Ministry of Aliyah & Immigrant Absorption, I want to welcome all the new olim to Israel. In recent years, the Ministry has invested a great number of resources into aliyah and we see North American immigration as a wonderful asset to the country – one that provides strength both economically and on a nationalistic level,” stated Minister of Absorption Sofa Landver. “Our office provides a smooth absorption process and ensures that every new oleh will receive the utmost personal attention in order to quickly integrate into Israeli society. Especially now, as global terrorism raises its head, it is not a given that a person will decide to leave his home and settle somewhere new, but as Jews, we know that we always have a home waiting for us – the State of Israel.”
“The immigrants arriving from the United States and Canada are coming not out of distress but rather out of excitement to take part in the largest national project of the Jewish people,” said Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky. “We must ensure that the State of Israel remains a place in which every Jew feels at home, a place that ignites Jews’ imagination and strengthens their identity and security.”
Photo: A chartered Nefesh B’Nefesh flight lands in Ben-Gurion with 218 North American Olim
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem/Photo: Shahar Azran)