May saw the highest number of American and Canadian Jews requesting to make aliyah through the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization since it was founded in 2002, according to numbers obtained by Israel Hayom.

The figures indicate that the number of aliyah files opened doubled in May, with most applicants seeking to move to Israel in the next few months. More than 800 households applied online in May to make aliyah, compared to 424 in May 2019.

The reason? The coronavirus.

“Coronavirus has caused a lot of U.S. Jews to rethink their paths and work to carry out something they’ve been planning for some time,” said Nefesh B’Nefesh.

The May wave of new aliyah requests comes after the 50 percent jump in new files the organization saw in April, which was also a record.

Nefesh B’Nefesh also reported a change in the profiles of the potential new immigrants, with more families and fewer single people and retirees applying.

“We have an unusual opportunity to make a 2,000-year-old dream come true,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh.

The organization is making preparations to bring several thousand new North American immigrants to Israel this summer.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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