Forty years ago...

...We were prepared to run to make aliya

August 17, 2017 18:47
Passover 1985 in the Old City: (from left) Tuvia, Rita, Elissa, David and Avie Geffen.

Passover 1985 in the Old City: (from left) Tuvia, Rita, Elissa, David and Avie Geffen.. (photo credit: AVIE GEFFEN PICTORIAL ARCHIVES)


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The Nefesh b’Nefesh aliya flights are filmed and become a keepsake. The actual aliya for us in August 1977 was a sprint in the airport corridor to get to the El Al plane before it took off. As fate would have it, there were five Geffens and one other woman making aliya. For whatever reason, it was a tough time for people to actually “fly upward” to Eretz Yisrael. Some 40 years ago, on August 17, we came here to live.

The plane that we were supposed to board at 7 p.m. was delayed. We were told to check in our luggage – and that we would will fly the next morning. Since our brother-in-law and sister-in-law lived in Long Beach, New York, very close to John F. Kennedy Airport, we returned to their home to sleep for the night. In the morning, about an hour and a half before our plane was to leave, we all dressed, had breakfast and then urged our brother-in-law to take us to the airport early. He refused, in his inimitable way, because he said that we should not have to wait. About 50 minutes before takeoff, we loaded ourselves into his car. Of course, he had not planned on traffic.


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