Flight LY3004 from New York was not just another regular El Al flight. Its passengers were neither tourists visiting the holy land, nor were they Israelis returning from a trip abroad. They were Jewish people from the USA and Canada, who had decided to buy one way tickets to Israel and make aliyah.
Upon arrival at Ben Gurion airport on July 12, 2012, the 229 new immigrants were welcomed at a gala ceremony attended by the Minister of Absorption, the Chairman of the Jewish Agency and the KKL-JNF World Chairman. They were also received by 800 guests, including relatives, friends and IDF soldiers.
It was the first flight this summer of the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization, which facilitates aliyah from western countries. Since its establishment a decade ago, Nefesh B’Nefesh immigrants from USA, Canada and England have numbered about 30,000.
This year, Nefesh B’Nefesh has started working with KKL-JNF in order to encourage new immigrants to settle in the Negev and the Galilee, and indeed, among the newcomers who had just arrived, there were some who had chosen to live in the northern and southern reaches of Israel, such as the Hanssen family from Denver, Colorado, who arrived with their four children with the intention of making their home in the town of Eshchar in the Galilee.
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