Minister Ofir Sofer at the conference
Minister Ofir Sofer at the conferenceCourtesy of the photographer

On Sunday, NCSY Israel, the youth movement of English-speaking olim in Israel, part of OU Israel, the leading organization in Israel for English-speaking olim, held its first-ever “Yair” conference in Jerusalem.

The conference was supposed to take place before Passover but was postponed due to Iran’s missile attack. It included several lectures by rabbis, speakers, and lecturers in preparation for the upcoming holiday of Shavuot, and featured a dinner and a special musical performance by the Solomon brothers. Senior officials of OU Israel and Executive Vice President of the OU Rabbi Moshe Hauer, who is currently in the country from New York, also attended.

The conference opened with words from Minister of Immigration and Absorption Ofir Sofer.

Speaing to the attendees, Sofer said: “We are experiencing a difficult time now, but within it is the potential for growth. We have experienced this before, going from the Holocaust to the subsequent revival in our return to the Land of Israel. In 1967, we also saw a wave of immigration after the war.”

Minister Sofer added: “So too today, we are facing great difficulty. I tell myself every morning that ‘Netzach Yisrael Lo Yishaker’ - ‘the Eternal of Israel does not lie,’ and when I see you, the people of Israel, coming from all over the Diaspora - it gives me strength!”

“Thank God, yesterday we had an amazing conference with NCSY Israel participants, English-speaking olim (new immigrants) teenagers from all over the country,” said Rabbi Yosef Ginsberg, co-founder and regional director of NCSY Israel. “This year has been a difficult one, particularly for olim ) and their children. But with all that we’ve gone through in recent months, with all the stress and all the unity, we paused for a day to learn how to take that difficulty and grow from it.”

Rabbi Avi Berman, Executive Director of OU Israel, said: “It is so uplifting to see so many new olim teenagers gathering together to harness the strengths they have felt in recent months. These olim, who are members of the NCSY Israel youth movement for English-speaking olim, want to know how they can contribute and be part of everything happening in the State of Israel. This is immigrant absorption at its best.”