More than 1,000 Jews and Israelis from across the Tri-State area jammed the Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah Mega event in Times Square on Sunday, part of a week of Aliyah Fairs in seven major cities across North America.
Organizing the events in conjunction with Nefesh B’Nefesh are Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF-USA.
The event also focused on providing information about the ‘Go North’ and ‘Go South’ Programs, which help potential immigrants learn about living in Israel’s periphery, with the collaboration of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF-USA.
Among the speakers were JNF CEO Russell Robinson; KKL Vice Chairman Menachem Leibovic; and Jewish Agency Director of Aliyah and Absorption Yehuda Scharf.
“It has been incredibly humbling and inspiring to see thousands of Jews gather in New York today as well as throughout North America this past week, who are seriously considering making Aliyah to Israel,” Nefesh B’Nefesh Founder and Chairman Tony Gelbart told the participants.
“We put special emphasis this year on providing participants with detailed information about moving to the Negev and Galilee – to us this is Zionism of special significance,” he added.
In addition to New York City, the Aliyah Fairs are taking place in Toronto, Montreal, Florida, Baltimore, Chicago and Los Angeles between March 2 and 10.
The events incorporate Aliyah-related seminars and workshops, and personal consultations with staff from The Jewish Agency for Israel, Tzofim Garin Tzabar and Nefesh B’Nefesh. Representatives from various Israeli municipalities, high schools and universities, MATI business development for entrepreneurs, real estate developers and agents, financial consultants, insurance agents and shippers are also consulting with participants.
Israeli Minister of Aliyah and Absorption Sofa Landver (Yisrael Beytenu) addressed the New York event in Sunday as well.
“It’s important to encourage you in this moment, when you are about to take a major step that will change your entire life – Aliyah to Israel. As a former Olah myself, I know it’s not easy. But we will be there for you, to support you and ensure your absorption into Israel society will be the best it can be,” she said.
Participants will benefit from workshops and seminars on various topics such as: Careers in Israel, Financial Planning, Taxes & Budgeting, The Israeli Healthcare System, Introduction to the Aliyah Process, Aliyah Rights and Benefits. In addition, representatives of The Jewish Agency for Israel will speak about the process for verifying Aliyah eligibility and the various programs it offers to assist immigrants in their transition to Israeli life.
To date, Nefesh B’Nefesh has assisted over 38,000 Olim. More than 50,000 North American and British Jews have attended Nefesh B'Nefesh pre-Aliyah informational seminars throughout the U.S., Canada and UK, including specially tailored programs, events and individual counseling sessions.