Jewish Agency plays matchmaker

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
October 17, 2011 06:10

Na'ale is a Jewish Agency program which brings Jewish youth to Israel from former Soviet states.

1 minute read.



wedding

Jewish wedding 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski (illustrative))

The Jewish Agency for Israel’s main mission is strengthening Jewish identity and assisting immigration, but every so often it also inadvertently acts as matchmaker.

Last week sisters Irina and Anna Kofitova married their husbands in a joint ceremony where all four were graduates of Na’ale, the Jewish organization’s program which helps brings youths from the former Soviet Union to Israel.

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“We all made aliya through Na’ale,” said a joyful Irina on Sunday. “I came to Israel from Gomel in Belarus through Na’ale in 1995 when I was 15, and my sister came a year later.”

In Israel the Kofitovas went through the various stages of becoming full-fledged citizens.

They both served in the army in units assisting new immigrants, which is where Anna met her future husband, who also made aliya through Na’ale from Russia. Anna met her match who made aliya through Na’ale from Latvia through mutual friends at college.

“We know many couples like us who are all Na’ale alumni,” said Irina. “We share a way of looking at things and many common experiences.”

Anna admitted she could not imagine what her life would have looked like for her had she not made aliya through Na’ale.

“I came in ninth grade,” she said. “My life there was grey and bleak and I couldn’t imagine how things would be like had I stayed.”


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