Lod, Israel, 72 new immigrants (Olim) from North America, including 20 soon-to-be IDF Lone Soldiers, landed this morning, December 28, in Israel on a Nefesh B’Nefesh group Aliyah flight, in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah & Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel, JNF-USA. These young men and women are drafting with the Tzofim-Garin Tzabar program and will serve in the IDF as part of the Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldiers Program. The Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldiers Program, in cooperation with Friends of the IDF (FIDF), cares for all Lone Soldier immigrants during each stage of their service: pre-immigration, pre-recruitment, during active military service, after release from the army, and during adjustment to civilian life.
“During the holiday of Hanukkah we commemorate the miracles and wonders experienced by the Jewish people thousands of years ago during the days of the Maccabees. Today as we welcome these 73 new Olim to Israel, we celebrate our own modern day miracle, Aliyah,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “Tonight, as they go home to light the 5th candle of Hanukkah, the flame of their candles won’t only be symbolizing the victory of light over darkness, it will be symbolizing the light of hope, faith and a promising future that they represent for all of us.”
In addition to the Lone Soldiers, the flight also includes 17 Olim as part of Nefesh B’Nefesh’s Go North and Go South programs, initiatives to invigorate Israel’s periphery communities with idealistic Olim from North America.
“When I chose to leave my privileged life in Brooklyn and to help my country, it seemed like it was perfect timing during Hanukkah. Someone tries and takes away our self-determination, so what do we do? We fight! We're fighters...My heritage has made me proud and stronger, it has taught me to never ever give up,” said Joy Cohen, a 20-year-old Lone Solider from Brooklyn, NY on today’s flight.