(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) At a ceremony at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Tuesday, President Reuven Rivlin warmly welcomed 338 new immigrants from North America -- including 108 will soon enlist in the Israel Defense Forces.
"The people of Israel appreciate your dedication, courage and simple Zionism," Rivlin told the newcomers, who arrived on a Nefesh B'Nefesh charter flight. "Through you, we feel the warm embrace of American and Canadian Jewry."
A vast majority of the soon-to-be soldiers are hoping to join combat units.
"In the past, Jews did not have the ability to defend themselves," said Rebecca Abeles, 22, from Beverly Hills. "Now we can, and it is important for me to be part of this."
Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver said, "It is heartwarming to see young men and women, who despite these challenging times, are leaving their comfortable lives in the Diaspora to make aliyah and serve and defend the State of Israel."