A total of 172 olim (new immigrants) landed this week on four Nefesh B’Nefesh Group Aliyah Flights, in cooperation with the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel and JNF-USA.
The flights arrived during a record-breaking summer of aliyah (immigration to Israel), with an expected arrival of 2,000 olim. This incredible spike follows the increase in olim who applied for aliyah during 2020. Over 14,000 aliyah applications were opened last year, the highest recorded number of aliyah applications the organization has experienced since its founding nearly twenty years ago.
As of June 2021, over 1,100 people have made aliyah - with 2,000 additional olim expected over the summer months. Nefesh B’Nefesh is anticipating surpassing the total number of olim who arrived in all of 2020 by September of this year. In addition, over 4,300 aliyah applications have been submitted in 2021, already exceeding the total number of applications submitted in 2019 (the year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic).
“With the many changes people have faced over the past year and a half, causing them to rethink their approach to family, community and employment, aliyah has become more attainable than ever before,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh.
“We are seeing how these shifts, while fundamentally difficult, are enabling more and more people to consider aliyah today. It is amazing to see how the increase in applications have had tangible results, showing that people are making the necessary decisions and putting their aliyah at the forefront.”
The olim on this week’s group flights were comprised of 172 individuals, the oldest of whom is 87 years old and the youngest being a 6-month-old girl. They hail from New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Ontario and will be moving to Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Modi'in, Kiryat Gat, Ra’anana, and Netanya. Among the olim who arrived this week were 12 medical professionals including four physicians, in addition to a number of lawyers, accountants, engineers, and educators, all eager to join and contribute to the Israeli workforce.