Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and CEO of Nefesh B'Nefesh, was interviewed at the Arutz Sheva Jerusalem Conference in New York on May 22.
Rabbi Fass said his organization has helped over 75,000 North Americans move to Israel.
“We’re equally proud that our retention rate is over 92 to 93 percent of those who’ve made aliyah,” he said.
They also had a 30 percent increase in aliyah last year.
“Corona did three things. Number one, it opened up this whole remote work possibility… that removed a huge obstacle for people who are thinking of moving to Israel. The second is your connectivity to family for two years, we were all trying to find a way of connecting to our parents, siblings, grandparents.
"And now people can Zoom. And third it allowed people to pause and reflect on their own identity, a lot of the times were are so fused with our synagogues that we don’t have the ability to step back and reflect. [The pandemic] forced people to ask what their own trajectory was.”
When asked how to make the Israeli population more aware that "every ole is a gem," and to highlight the importance of new immigrants, he said:
“We have to put a magnifying glass over the accomplishments of the olim and how they are thriving and contributing to Israeli society, and highlighting on just the anglo community of their impact and their influence, so that we can educate the Israeli community and the Israeli public that olim are making a huge difference in Israeli society. If you can do that with other sectors, with other olim, with our dear partners, I think that will slowly change the appreciation and acknowledgement of what olim and aliyah is today.”