One year after Operation Protective Edge, a group of 221 olim (new immigrants) from the United States and Canada landed on Tuesday morning at the Ben Gurion Airport, arriving on a special flight of Nefesh B’Nefesh in cooperation with the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish National Fund, the Jewish Agency and JNF-USA.

95 of the new immigrants are children who are moving to Israel with their parents, and a quarter of the new olim chose to make their homes in the Israeli periphery.

The new olim who arrived in Israel on this flight, along with more than 2,000 additional olim who will arrive during the summer, decided to move to Israel during and shortly after Operation Protective Edge, choosing to leave their comfortable homes, their families, communities and careers abroad despite the tangible reminder of the complexity of the reality of life in Israel.

“This is flight number 53 but the emotions are very new,” said Nefesh B’Nefesh CEO and co-founder Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. “To see this day for [the olim] happen is very emotional.”

Immigrant Absorption Minister Ze’ev Elkin told Arutz Sheva that “Zionism and making aliyah are not only a part of our history. They are part of our modern time. This is the future of the State of Israel.”

Arutz Sheva will be airing a series of video clips with the some of the immigrants we met on the flight.