Nechama Dina Simon of St. Louis, Missouri, got a special bonus when she made aliya on Tuesday.
Nechama Dina Simon and Zach Taylor became Israel's newest engaged couple shortly after landing at Ben-Gurion Int'l Airport
As she stepped off the Nefesh B'Nefesh
charter flight at Ben-Gurion Airport
with 203 other new olim from North America
, she was greeted by her boyfriend, Zachary Taylor of Los Angeles, who had himself immigrated via Nefesh B'Nefesh in 2004.
In front of hundreds of cheering guests who had come to welcome the new Israelis, Zachary took out an engagement ring and asked Nechama to marry him. He received an affirmative answer.
This group of olim - which included 81 singles - was the final contingent in a banner summer of Western aliya that saw Nefesh B'Nefesh bring more than 3,000 English-speaking immigrants on 22 flights.
Also on board the flight were several high-profile bloggers, who were following some of the olim to report about their aliya experience, in advance of Nefesh B'Nefesh's second International Jewish Bloggers Convention being held in Jerusalem on Sunday (www.jbloggers.org
The olim received their Israeli identity cards en route to Tel Aviv, and within an hour of arrival had registered for medical services, obtained immigrant IDs (teudat oleh
) and were on their way to their new homes.
Nefesh B'Nefesh founder Rabbi Yehoshua Fass blessed the new couple as they departed, promising them that the entire group of new olim would be present at the wedding - if invited.
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