(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
On Tuesday, August 14, a plane landed at Ben Gurion Airport, filled with 350 new Nefesh B'Nefesh immigrants from North America, including a record number of young people (68 men and 59 women aged 18-22) who will be enlisting in the Israeli Army in the next few weeks. The immigrants were met at the airport by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler, the Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver, and other dignitaries. Most of the young people will be volunteering for combat duty in the IDF.
In his welcoming words, Efi Stentzler said that KKL-JNF was ready to help the new immigrants make their new home in Israel: "KKL-JNF will especially assist the new immigrants who wish to live in the Negev. We have built four new communities in the Negev together with the Or Movement, and have invested a great deal of resources in infrastructure and other projects, thanks to the help of our friends all over the world."
Nefesh B’Nefesh facilitates immigration to Israel from western countries. Since its establishment a decade ago, Nefesh B’Nefesh immigrants from USA, Canada and England have numbered about 30,000. This year, about 4,800 immigrants are expected to arrive under the organization's umbrella.
One of the new immigrants who arrived on Tuesday's flight was 19 year-old Max Levin, the son of Judy and Bud Levin from the United States. Bud is a member of the JNF Board of Directors and has been involved with KKL-JNF since 2002. "I've always had a strong connection to Israel," Max said. "Since I was a baby, we've been here at least once a year. We have a lot of friends and family here, so the decision to make aliya was not so hard, even though I'll be without my parents."
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