Israel is preparing for a massive Aliyah boom, which El Al Airlines will facilitate with 14 dedicated flights for new immigrants from the USA.
The aliyah organization Nefesh B’Nefesh announced Tuesday it signed a deal with El Al Airlines to bring new immigrants to Israel on 14 flights leaving from the United States over the next three months.
“It is incredible to take part in this moment…unparalleled increase in Aliyah interest. With hundreds of seats now available for Olim, we look forward to taking a large step forward to ensuring that we can assist in the fruition of these Aliyah dreams,” Nefesh B’Nefesh tweeted.
Nefesh B’Nefesh operates in partnership with the Israel’s immigration ministry and major Jewish organizations and said it signed a contract with El Al blocking out seats on 14 flights throughout July, August and September on the New York-Tel Aviv route.
The announcement comes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic creating an unprecedented increase in Aliyah interest from North American Jews. In May alone, Nefesh B’Nefesh reported its highest number of calls and applications since the organization was founded in 2002.
In the first half of June, there have already been over 900 applications for Aliyah submitted to Nefesh B’Nefesh, while in the same month last year the organization received only 399 applications.
With the pandemic helping to drive up demand for aliyah, Nefesh B’Nefesh said it will also be working to ensure flight safety by developing even more stringent health protocols and ensuring that all the rules are being enforced as strictly as possible.
“We deeply appreciate the patience and understanding of our Olim as we navigate Aliyah together during this unprecedented time,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh.
“It is incredible to witness and take part in this moment. … With hundreds of seats now available for Olim, we look forward to taking a large step forward to ensuring that we can assist in the fruition of these Aliyah dreams,” he added.
While most flights will depart from New York City, there will also be two group Aliyah flights originating from the west coast, one in July and the second in August.