More Jews Coming Home

Nefesh B'Nefesh does it again. This summer's second El Al plane chartered by the organization will arrive tomorrow in Israel, filled with over 250 Jews from the US and Canada making Aliyah.

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, | updated: 12:01

Nefesh B'Nefesh does it again. This summer's second El Al plane chartered by the organization will arrive tomorrow in Israel, filled with over 250 Jews from the US and Canada making Aliyah [immigration to Israel]. The previous flight last month was a 747 Jumbo bringing some 450 Jews, and two additional flights in the coming weeks are scheduled to bring another several hundred. The "stragglers" arriving on their own are expected to bring the total number of Nefesh B'Nefesh olim (immigrants) to 1,500.

Nefesh B'Nefesh (NBN), working in close cooperation with the Jewish Agency for Israel, has been active for three years in encouraging and facilitating North American Jews to make Aliyah - including with financial help. Some 1,500 NBN'ers arrived in 2002-3, of whom 99% are still here.

Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Minister of Education Limor Livnat, and other officials will greet tomorrow's newcomers at a semi-official welcoming ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport. The new olim come from 33 US States and 5 Canadian provinces.

"Before the summer ends, our young organization will have helped 3,000 people begin building new lives in Israel," said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder of Nefesh B'Nefesh. He says that his goal is to bring 100,000 North American Jews to live in Israel - almost the same number of North American olim since the Six-Day War! "Toward this end," Rabbi Fass said, "Nefesh B'Nefesh has developed successful support services that help assure a smooth landing. 99% of the individuals we have brought over in the past two years are still in Israel."

Among the 1,520 newcomers who came to Israel on Nefesh's flights in 2002-03, 93% of the families have one or both spouses employed, 55 babies were born, and 11 weddings were celebrated.