Nefesh B’Nefesh, in cooperation with the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish Agency for Israel, KKL and JNF-USA, welcomed 100 North American immigrants last week, in the largest of eight summer group flights.
One-third of the olim, coming from Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia, Texas and Canada, are making Jerusalem their home. The remainder are settling in cities across Israel, including Givat Shmuel, Modi’in, Tel Aviv, Beit Shemesh and Ma’alot.
“Summer is the busiest season for aliyah, and this year is no exception, with over 2,000 olim choosing to make Israel their home in these eight weeks alone,” said Nefesh b’Nefesh co-founder and executive director Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. “We look forward to assisting them throughout their aliyah journey for years to come.”
Among the newcomers was Ray Negari, 80, who emigrated with his wife in the 1960s from Iran to the United States. “I am proud and happy to know that despite the years that have gone by, I am going to be setting up my home in Israel and will be able to enjoy living with my brothers and sisters in Israel as we have always dreamed,” he said.
Several olim are enlisting in the IDF as lone soldiers. Omer Doar, 18, from New Jersey said, “Since I was young, I heard stories about my mother’s uncle, Alberto, who served in the IDF and was killed in the Yom Kippur War. It is my familial and Zionist duty to and protect the country and continue in his path.”
Gal Gur Lavi, 18, also from New Jersey, has two parents who served in the IAF. Asked why she is making aliyah and joining the IDF, she responded simply, “Israel is my home.”
Written in cooperation with Nefesh B'Nefesh.