by: Edgar Asher
Friday, 16 August 2019 | On Wednesday at Ben Gurion International Airport 242 new olim (immigrants) were welcomed on this 60th flight from North America organized by “Nefesh b’Nefesh” [literally, “Jewish Souls United,” an organization that facilitates aliyah (immigration to Israel) from the US, Canada and the UK] over the past 18 years.
Wednesday’s flight included 30 mainly young families, including 103 young children, from 23 US states and Canada. So far this year many of the younger immigrants have come to Israel in order to join the IDF [Israel Defense Forces]. Also, this year alone, among the new olim, Israel welcomed a total of some 100 young doctors from the US and Canada.
Over the 18 years “Nefesh B’Nefesh” has been operating flights for immigrants some 60,000 individuals have made aliyah. “Nefesh B’Nefesh” is proud to report that of the 60,000 individuals who made aliyah over the 18 years, some 94% have remained in Israel and built up their lives here.
Several guest speakers spoke words of welcome and encouragement in English to the new olim. Chaim Bibas, Chairman of the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel and also Mayor of the central Israeli city of Modiin-Maccabim-Reut, speaking in English, told the new arrivals that all the cities, including his city, where the new olim will settle will welcome them and are there to help them settle in their new country.
The prime minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, the only guest speaking in Hebrew and standing in for her husband, told the immigrants and their families and guests, “You, the lone soldiers, I especially welcome: Welcome to Israel and welcome to the IDF. You left a warm home, family, and friends, to make aliyah and join Israel’s success story and come here to your home, our home. All the people of Israel embrace you. Today, we are all your family, even if you are called lone soldiers—you are not alone; we are always with you. Remember to call dad and mom at every opportunity. Tell them about your service and the wonderful country, and most importantly, watch over us, guard Israel, and look after yourself.”
Posted on August 16, 2019
Source: (Ashernet originally published this article on August 14, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)
Photo Credit: Haim Zach/GPO/Ashernet
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