The first Nefesh B’Nefesh chartered El Al summer aliya flight of 2013 is to
depart from JFK airport in New York on Monday.
The flight is to be
carrying 231 North American immigrants, including a record number of 106
children as well as 54 singles.
The olim will be joined on the flight by
former IDF captive Gilad Schalit, who is flying to show his support and
appreciation for North American aliyah This summer, a total of 2,500 olim will
be departing for Israel on Nefesh B’Nefesh aliya flights, in cooperation with
the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Immigrant Absorption Ministry and Keren
Kayemeth L’Israel. The second flight is scheduled for August 12.
and friends around the world will be able to watch a live feed online of the
olim landing in Israel and the welcome ceremony at Ben-Gurion
Dignitaries expected at the arrival ceremony include Immigrant
Absorption Minister Sofa Landver, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister,
Yair Shamir, Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman, an American immigrant, and Chairman of the
Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky.
“It is a weird day today at the NBN
office,” director of the Pre-Aliya Department at Nefesh B’Nefesh Marc Rosenberg
told The Jerusalem Post, “The staff is busy with small last-minute details and
logistics for the flight’s arrival.”
“Yet, there is a tremendous
excitement at the greater idea that 231 people are about to fulfill a dream of
coming home together,” he added, “I for one am very inspired by each and every
Passengers are to attend a departure ceremony in JFK airport in
the presence of Consul for Public Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in
NY Gil Lainer; CEO of JNF-USA, Russell Robinson; Regional Representative to the
Northeast for The Jewish Agency for Israel, Raphael Cohen; deputy managing
director of Sales and Marketing for El Al, Gal Gershon; members of the Keren
Kayemeth L’Israel Board of Directors, Shamai Keinan and Lesley Sachs; and
co-founders of Nefesh B’Nefesh, Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and Tony
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Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.