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50,000th Person Immigrates to Israel with Nefesh B’Nefesh

August 18, 2016

by: Itamar Eichner

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The pictures show President Reuven Rivlin ( R ) and Interior Minister Gidon Saar welcoming the new IDF Ôlone soldiersÕ who arrived in Israel this morning at Ben Gurion Airport as part of group of 338 new immigrants from all over North America. photo@shaharazran.com 917.697.4426

One group of recent olim from North America (illustrative)

Thursday, 19 August 2016 | Over 230 new olim [immigrants] to Israel arrived from North America early Wednesday morning on a flight organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh. An Oleh is someone who moves to Israel, an act called making aliyah.

One of them, Aaron Kress, was quoted as saying “I gave up on the easy life to join the IDF [Israel Defense Forces]. I want to be part of Israeli society and defend my homeland.”

Kress decided to move to Israel in order to join an IDF combat unit. He has a degree in biology and worked in Chicago. According to him “my dream now is to find an Israeli girl and start a family.”

Rivka Geltzer, 22, was the 50,000th olah [Hebrew for female immigrant] who came to Israel via Nefesh B’Nefesh. Geltzer has a degree in economics from Columbia University in New York. She also took part in the Tamid program, which is an investing group which advises Israeli start ups. She wants to join the IDF and hopes to be a combat soldier in the artillery corps. Geltzer received her Israeli identity documents directly from President Reuven Rivlin.

Approximately 75 young people made aliyah on the flight with the goal of joining the IDF. They will join the over 900 US lone soldiers already serving in the military. Some of them are joining via the Garin Tzabar program which is part of the Israel Scouts movement and is done in conjunction with the Israeli Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.

A ceremony was held at JFK International Airport right before takeoff, where Israeli Consul General in New York Dani Dayan (Bayit Yehudi), himself an oleh from Argentina, spoke.

“You are the largest defeat to BDS… you are taking part in the miracle of the return to Zion.”

Posted on August 18, 2016

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 17 August 2016. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Shahar Azran/Ashernet