Nefesh B'Nefesh Landing
Nefesh B'Nefesh LandingNefesh B'Nefesh

American and Canadian Jews resumed their annual one-way trek to Israel Wednesday morning, with 232 new immigrants arriving on the first of nearly a dozen flights that will bring 2,500 Jews to their new homes in Zion this summer.

“As more North American and British Olim make successful lives for themselves in Israel, we are noticing it is having a snowball effect on their friends, family and peers back home,” said Tony Gelbart, co-founder of the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization, welcoming the new arrivals. 

Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and NBN co-founder Rabbi Yehoshua Fass joined Gelbart to greet the new Israelis. NBN and the Jewish Agency are coordinating efforts to bring more Jews to Israel.

Three more special Aliyah flights and eight group Aliyah flights are scheduled to land on the Ben Gurion International Airport runways before the summer ends. Approximately 5,000 North American and British Jews are expected to arrive in 2010, a 20 percent increase over the previous year.

Approximately 25,000 Jews from North American and England have moved to the national Jewish home through NBN sponsorship in recent years, in addition to thousands of others who have moved to Israel on their own.

Among Wednesday’s newcomers are 27 men and women who will be volunteering to serve in the IDF, with more than 450 others expected later in the summer to join the same program. Also on the plane were a five-month-old and a 95-year-old. Most of the new residents of Israel are married, but 60 singles also arrived.

Below is an NBN promo showing the excitement of new immigrants, from before takeoff in the United States until landing in Israel.