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      Joie de Vivre in Eli: French Families Make Aliyah

      13 families from France went directly from Ben Gurion Airport to Eli, north of Jerusalem.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 8/10/2012, 3:54 PM

      Residents of Eli
      Residents of Eli
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      The thirteenth family to make aliyah from France to Eli this year arrived at the community on Friday and was warmly welcomed by the local residents.

      "We experienced this every year, but it moves the heart anew every time," Eli's local committee chairman Kobi Eliraz told Arutz Sheva.

      Several groups of Jews from Belgium and France have made aliyah to Israel in recent years, he said, and all together, about 60 of the families have elected to remain in Eli.

      The families undergo an acquaintance process in the year that precedes the aliyah. In the course of this year, representatives of Eli go to France to meet the candidates and the candidates themselves come to Israel for a visit, to see their prospective community.

      Most of the families have some religious background and therefore are at least slightly familiar with the Hebrew language, Eliraz said. The children pick up the language faster than the parents, he said, but the parents eventually learn it too, and in the intermediate period "we communicate in pantomime."

      Other families made direct aliyah from France to Hadera this year, Eliraz added.