update deskIsrael at War

700 North Americans make aliyah following Oct. 7 attacks

More than 200 olim landed at Ben-Gurion Airport in the last week of 2023.

New immigrants from North America celebrate their arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport, Aug. 16, 2023. Photo by Kobi Natan/TPS.
New immigrants from North America celebrate their arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport, Aug. 16, 2023. Photo by Kobi Natan/TPS.

Nefesh B’Nefesh, together with the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF-USA, has helped more than 700 North American immigrants move to the Jewish state since Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attacks, NBN announced on Sunday.

More than 200 olim landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport in the last week of 2023 alone, the organization said.

Nefesh B’Nefesh received 4,175 aliyah requests from individuals and families during the last quarter of 2023, up from 1,985 during the same period a year earlier.

“Our olim never cease to amaze us as they prove their commitment to fulfilling the Zionist dream of making Israel their home,” said Tony Gelbart, co-founder and chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh.

“In light of the significant surge in aliyah submissions, we are entering 2024 with optimism and, together with our partners, are prepared to welcome every individual who chooses the State of Israel with open arms,” Gelbart said.

“The significant number of new immigrants to Israel during the Iron Swords war and the tremendous increase in requests to open aliyah files are an important demonstration of Zionism and a beautiful expression of solidarity,” said Minister of Aliyah and Integration Ofir Sofer.

“Together with our partners at the Jewish Agency for Israel and Nefesh B’Nefesh, we are working to improve the absorption process by easing the bureaucracy, as well as helping with Hebrew learning and job placements,” he added.

In total, 3,020 persons from North America made Israel their home in 2023. Among the newcomers are 545 families, 616 children, 958 single men and women and 432 retirees. Their average age was 32 years, with the oldest being 100 and the youngest being a 3-month-old baby.

Olim came from all over North America, most notably New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Maryland and Ontario. The most sought-after destinations were Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Beit Shemesh, Netanya and Ra’anana.

Some 230 young men and women who made aliyah in 2023 volunteered to serve in the Israel Defense Forces as part of the FIDF-Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldiers Program, while 35 women became national service volunteers as part of the Ori Program.

Aliyah in these times is another expression of the partnership of world Jewry in building, and now in rebuilding, the State of Israel,” said Maj. Gen. (res.) Doron Almog, chairman of the Jewish Agency.

The Jewish Agency will continue to work “to strengthen the resilience of Israel’s society as a whole,” he said.

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