Jerusalem, Despite the tense security situation in Israel, 228 new Olim from the United States and Canada arrived at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport today as new citizens, on a Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah charter flight, in collaboration with the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF-USA.
The children included 39 girls and 61 boys. Altogether, 29 families and 54 singles joined the landmark flight, which included Olim planning to live in Israel’s south and north, as part of a joint project to settle Olim in the Negev and the Galilee. Those who are planning to live in the south also received special briefings about the security situation, such as information about trauma counseling and support from English-speaking Olim living in the area.
A number of Israeli dignitaries greeted the new Olim as they touched down in Israel as new citizens, among them Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, Sofa Landver; MK Rabbi Dov Lipman; Chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky; Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, Yisrael Meir Lau and Founders of Nefesh B’Nefesh, Tony Gelbart and Rabbi Yehoshua Fass who escorted the flight.
“The decision to make Aliyah is not a simple one, especially in the current situation it is a courageous and important one,” said Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption MK Sofa Landver. “The continuing massive Aliyah of families and children, especially in these times of crisis, strengthens the resolve of our nation and serves as a proof that Israel is the one and only home of the Jewish nation.”
Chair of The Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky added: “That so many Jews from the West are joining us of their own free will is the best answer to those who still try to destroy us. This flight is yet another step in the ingathering of the exiles, and we look forward to welcoming these new Israelis home.”
“Today's Aliyah flight demonstrates the great resilience of the Jewish people and its determination to build the State of Israel,” said Nefesh B’Nefesh Co-Founder and Executive Director Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. “These Olim, who are choosing to move to Israel in these difficult times are instilling hope, optimism and strength throughout Israel and the Jewish nation. The outpouring number of requests we received to join the flight out of solidarity for the citizens of Israel is inspiring.”
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