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10 Years Later: Nefesh B'Nefesh Brings Hundreds More to Israel

A group of 229 arrivals arrived early Thursday morning on the first flight of the summer to mark the tenth year of Nefesh B'Nefesh aliyahs.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 7/12/2012, 10:03 AM

NBN first flight summer 2012
NBN first flight summer 2012
Israel news photo: Sasson Tiram / NBN

Welcome to a bright new day in the Summer of 2012 at Nefesh B'Nefesh.

It is already ten years later, but the enthusiasm has, if anything, magnified exponentially. 

Those from the First Flight are now well into their careers, with a smashing 98 percent success rate of managing to hang in there and remain in Israel despite difficulties with integration, language barriers and the usual frustrations of culture shock that in the past had sent more than half of "anglo" immigrants racing back to their countries of origin. Through offering a combination of financial support at the start, smooth assistance with the massive red tape and offering continued strong emotional and administrative support in the first years of life in the "new land," NBN prevented a repetition of the failure.

The children who came on the plane -- especially those who were under age 8 -- barely remember the "Old Country," and not even their neighbors or friends from their early childhood there. Unless they were taken back to the U.S. regularly to visit, they are often reluctant to consider leaving the Jewish State to go, and when they finally do, they are vastly relieved to come "home to Israel." They speak Hebrew flawlessly, usually much better than their parents, and even if they speak English at home, brothers and sisters speak Hebrew among themselves.

These are the children of of Nefesh B'Nefesh.

Now, a new group of 229 new olim – immigrants, to the uninitiated – has arrived, landing early Thursday morning at Ben Gurion International Airport on the first aliyah charter flight of summer 2012.

The festive arrivals poured down on to the tarmac via NBN, which although a North American aliyah organization has since expanded to include the UK and these days also works in cooperation with the Jewish Agency for Israel and Keren Kayemet L'Israel (KKL), better known in the US as JNF – the Jewish National Fund.

Over 2,500 olim will be heading to Israel this summer, as Nefesh B'Nefesh celebrates its first decade of working on bringing home the English-speaking Jews from North America and the UK.

The newcomers who arrived on Thursday morning's flight ranged in age from six months to 86 years and headed to new homes all across Israel. According to Nefesh B'Nefesh 1,400 young professionals and singles will make aliyah over the course of the year.