Daily Israel Report

Soldier Olim Told: 'Israel Salutes You!'

“After two months in the IDF you will feel that you were born here in Israel,” assures JNF Head.
By Gil Ronen and Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 8/13/2013, 11:47 AM

The new soldier olim
The new soldier olim
Yoni Kempinski

Dignitaries delivered messages of enthusiasm and assurance tuesday to the newst Olim to arrive in Israel from North America, on Nefesh B'Nefesh's “Soldier olim” flight.

Keren Kayemeth Leyisrael / Jewish National Fund World Chairman Efi Stenzler told the Olim [immigrants to Israel]: “Our excitement this time is especially great. This is the first time that on one airplane, 125 soldiers are arriving to join the ranks of the IDF. The people of Israel salute you! And don't worry. Even if some of you are taking your first steps ever in Israel – after two months in the IDF you will feel that you were born here in Israel.”

The soldiers were only one component of the flight, he added. “A group of senior physicists and other senior professionals of the highest quality have chosen to settle in the Negev and in the Galil and to realize the vision of the Keren Kayemeth Leyisrael and Jewish National Fund.

Interior Minister Gideon Saar also addressed the olim, saying: “What you did today – you took the biggest and most important decision you could ever take: to leave your familiar home in different places, to immigrate to Israel and build your home [in] the home of the Jewish people. And this is the core of Zionism. I look around me and I see hundreds of excited people who came to welcome you with open arms. And this is a clear message to you: you are not alone. We are with you. We will assist you and support you along the way.

The flight carried 331 North American Olim. These included 125 young men and women who will be joining the IDF, 41 families, 88 children, 47 singles, and 92 Olim who are moving to Israel’s periphery.