(JNS.org) More than 200 Americans and Canadians landed in Israel on the July Fourth holiday as part of the Jewish state’s latest group of immigrants (olim).
The flight—which was organized by the Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah agency in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF-USA—featured immigrants from 16 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. The 200 immigrants included 14 soon-to-be IDF soldiers, five sets of twins, 34 families, 78 children and 51 singles, working in a range of professions. They will reside in communities throughout Israel.
“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 Natan Sharansky, chairman of The Jewish Agency. “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.”
Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, said the new immigrants are “modern-day pioneers” who are fulfilling not only their personal dreams, “but the dreams of the Jewish nation as a whole.”
“It has been remarkable, these last 15 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,” Fass said.
This summer, Nefesh B’Nefesh plans to facilitate the aliyah of more than 2,000 North Americans.