On American Independence Day, July 4, an El Al Boeing 777 chartered by Nefesh B’Nefesh arrived at Ben Gurion Airport carrying over 200 new immigrants (Olim) to Israel from sixteen U.S. States and three Canadian provinces to begin their new lives as Israeli citizens.
The flight was organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh, in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel, and JNF-USA.
The flight’s passengers included a diverse group of newcomers to the country, including 14 soon-to-be IDF soldiers, 5 sets of twins, 34 families, 78 children and 51 singles, working in a range of professions who will reside in communities throughout Israel. Over 20% of the flight (47 people) will be moving to Israel’s periphery, or locations in the north and south of the country outside of the center’s metropolitan areas.
"The Zionist mission is an ongoing mission, and every day we are committed to recreating it. These 200 new immigrants have come here and have chosen to implement this mission in the most personal way. They will settle the land in the Negev, Galilee and Golan Heights, while at the same time strengthening the social fabric of the periphery," said World Chairman of KKL-JNF, Danny Atar. "Keren Kayemeth Le'Israel has the privilege of being a leading partner with Nefesh B'Nefesh in the vision of Aliyah and the settlement of the land. Even in this digital and virtual age, the most fundamental and basic values of KKL are those that are planted deep in the land of Israel."
“The State of Israel is proud to welcome and help integrate this newest group of North American Olim today. Their arrival is the result of a close and continuous partnership between our office and Nefesh B'Nefesh,” said Minister of Aliyah and Integration, Sofa Landver (Yisrael Beytenu). “As Minister of Aliyah and Integration, I would also like to congratulate those who decided to settle in the periphery who are contributing to its important development. They will undoubtedly all help strengthen the security, economy and culture of the State of Israel! I am pleased to say that this group of new Olim contains close to 80 children who will find a new, warm home in our country and one day might even defend it in an IDF uniform. We will also ensure that every Oleh will get the personal attention needed to make their absorption into Israeli society an easy, smooth and fast process. Welcome to Israel, dear Olim.”
“Immigrants from the United States come with a desire and excitement to take part in the national project of the Jewish people, through which their identity is strengthened,” said Chairman of the Executive, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky. “We must ensure that the State of Israel remains a place in which every Jew may feel at home and in which the immigrants may confidently connect to the history, roots, and national identity of the Jewish people.”
“Today we welcome hundreds of extraordinary Olim who have chosen to leave their lives in the Diaspora and make Israel their home,” said Nefesh B’Nefesh Co-Founder and Executive Director,Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. “These modern-day pioneers, many of whom are moving to Israel’s North and South, are not only fulfilling their personal dreams, but the dreams of the Jewish nation as a whole. It has been remarkable, these last fifteen years, to have assisted thousands of Olim in making an impact on the State of Israel and we hope to continue to do so for today’s Olim.”
Today’s planeload of Olim is the first of two Nefesh B’Nefesh charter flights this summer, which, along with 11 group Aliyah flights and Olim arriving independently on a daily basis, will bring over 2,000 Olim making Aliyah through Nefesh B’Nefesh this summer from North America. Since 2002, Nefesh B’Nefesh, together with its partners, has brought over 50,000 Olim to Israel from the U.S., Canada and the UK.