“Each and every oleh brings a world of their own to Israel – culturally, ideologically, and professionally, as they strengthen the Jewish nation,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass of Nefesh B’Nefesh.
By Aryeh Savir,TPS
On Wednesday morning, 242 new olim (immigrants) from North America landed at Ben Gurion Airport, bringing 41 future Lone Soldiers, 103 children, three sets of twins, and a 28-day-old baby to Israel.
The olim, who arrived on Nefesh B’Nefesh’s 60th specially chartered flight, hailed from 22 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. They are part of the 2,300 Jews from North America who will come to Israel this year.
The flight saw a diverse group of professionals bringing their talents to Israel, including artists, chemists, lawyers and non-profit leaders, who are moving to communities throughout the country.
A special welcoming committee included Sara Netanyahu, wife of the prime minister; Minister of Aliyah and Integration Yoav Galant, and Chairman of the Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog.
“Each and every oleh brings a world of their own to Israel – culturally, ideologically, and professionally, as they strengthen the Jewish nation,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, , co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh.
“As we celebrate our 60,000th Oleh today, we reflect upon how Nefesh B’Nefesh, as an institution, has been privileged to not only help tens of thousands of Jews fulfill their Aliyah dreams, but has also contributed to building and developing the State of Israel through these olim.”
“We view Aliyah [immigration to Israel] as a value of the utmost importance, especially the olim who plan on serving the country and will one day create permanent homes in Israel,” said Danny Atar, World Chairman of KKL.
Galant noted that Aliyah has grown by 21% in the last year.
Aliyah is a “strategic objective which assists in strengthening the state and the Jewish people,” he said. “Welcome to your real home, the home of every Jew wherever he is – the State of Israel.”
Nearly 30,000 Jews from around the world chose to make Israel their new home in 2018, a 5% increase over 2017.
Some 3.5 million people have made Aliyah since 1948, making up 42 percent of the total population.
Over 70 years after the Holocaust, the world’s largest Jewish population lives in Israel.