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Welcome to Israel: 232 new immigrants arrive on ‘aliyah’

The diverse group of newcomers to Israel ranged in age from 6 months to 80 years old, and included 34 families, 18 singles, three sets of twins, six future IDF soldiers and 15 medical professionals.

Children land at Ben-Gurion Airport and are greeted by Nefesh B'Nefesh co-founders Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and Tony Gelbart, as well as Israel's Minister of Aliyah and Integration, Sofa Landver. Credit: Photo by Shahar Azran.
Children land at Ben-Gurion Airport and are greeted by Nefesh B'Nefesh co-founders Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and Tony Gelbart, as well as Israel's Minister of Aliyah and Integration, Sofa Landver. Credit: Photo by Shahar Azran.

A total of 232 new immigrants touched down at Ben-Gurion Airport early on Wednesday morning on the latest aliyah flight chartered by the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization. On board from North America were 127 children under age 17, representing more than half of the flight’s olim.

According to Nefesh B’Nefesh, the diverse group of newcomers to Israel ranged in age from 6 months to 80 years old, and included 34 families, 18 singles, three sets of twins, six future IDF soldiers and 15 medical professionals.

Some 35 percent of the flight (88 olim) will be moving to Israel’s periphery—locations in the north and south of the country outside of the center’s metropolitan areas, as well as Jerusalem, under the joint Nefesh B’Nefesh-KKL “Go Beyond” initiative.

“We are inspired to see so many children making aliyah today with their families. As Israel recently celebrated its 70th birthday, the country is now looking ahead to its future—an era that will be shaped by the ingenuity and passion of courageous and pioneering olim who are starting their lives anew in the Jewish state,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh.

A festive welcoming ceremony took place for the new immigrants at the airport following the flight’s arrival.

The group arrived on the first of two charter flights of the year, which, along with eight group aliyah flights and olim arriving independently on a daily basis, will bring more than 2,000 people immigrating to Israel through Nefesh B’Nefesh this summer from North America.

Since its founding in 2002, Nefesh B’Nefesh, in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel and JNF-USA, has brought more than 57,000 olim to Israel from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

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