100 immigrants from France shed tears of joy as they arrive in Israel

Some 100 immigrants from France making aliyah with the Jewish Agency were about to embark on the journey of a lifetime on Wednesday.

By
July 17, 2019 22:12
3 minute read.
Isaac Herzog poses with French immigrants as they disembark from their aliya flight.

Jewish Agency for Israel chairman Isaac Herzog poses with French immigrants as they disembark from their aliya flight.. (photo credit: ILANIT CHERNICK)

PARIS – As the sun rose over Paris, several Jewish families, singles and youngsters made their way to Charles de Gaulle Airport, bags packed and passports in hand.

Some 100 immigrants from France making aliyah with the Jewish Agency were about to embark on the journey of a lifetime on Wednesday.

Pushing their trolleys laden with luggage, while family members not joining them trailed behind clearly emotional, the immigrants shared their readiness for their one-way flight.

“It’s all culminated to this moment,” one young immigrant told The Jerusalem Post. “I’ve prepared and prepared, and now it’s here. I’m coming.”

Families kissed each other goodbye, tears streaming down their faces. A kiss on one cheek and then the other.
“Good luck, mon ami [sweetheart],” a mother told her son.

Despite tears, and some visible nervousness, there was also a lot of excitement.

“It’s hard to be saying goodbye to my family, but I hope they will follow me.... I’m confident they will,” one young man said. “I know life in Israel will be better – I will be more free to be Jewish, and that’s what I’m looking so forward to.”

The youngest person making aliyah on Wednesday’s flight was a two-month-old, while the oldest is 79 years old.

At the boarding gate, a husband put his arm around his wife as they waited to board the flight, while others chatted excitedly.
The Post watched as some parents kissed their children to comfort them, while a young mother fed her small baby.

Some looked exhausted but relieved that they were finally on their way.

As we headed to the plane, we noticed small Israeli flags that lined the entrance to the aircraft, and passengers were welcomed warmly by El Al staff.

As we all took our seats, the new immigrants began clapping as they were welcomed over the intercom. Some of the youth came on board singing songs and waving Israeli flags.

Aboard the flight there was incredible energy, as the realization was setting in that they were finally coming home.

As we landed in Tel Aviv, the entire plane burst into applause and singing. There were only yells of excitement and tears of joy as the plane came to a stop.

Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog came onto the plane to welcome and meet some of the immigrants.

A huge reception waited for the olim with family, friends and other new immigrants from South Africa, Russia and South America waving flags, blowing shofars, cheering and singing.

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and several government officials, including Aliyah and Integration Minister Yoav Gallant, were a part of the welcoming delegation.

Yosef told the immigrants what a massive mitzvah they were doing and welcomed them all with open arms, while Gallant stressed how important their decision was to make Israel their home.

Herzog warmly told them he was so excited that they were finally here and thanked them for making this big decision.
“You are Israelis – and that is everything,” he said.

Later, the band at the event broke out in song and the entire group stood up, singing and dancing.

One of the young French immigrants who spoke with the Post earlier in the day struggled to hold in his joy after landing.

“I can’t believe we finally made it,” he said. “I’m here, I’m here. What a dream come true.”

The writer was a guest of the Jewish Agency for Israel.


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