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(photo credit: NEFESH B'NEFESH)
There’s going to be a new holiday on the calendar: Aliya Day.
The Knesset passed in a final reading a law instituting the holiday on the seventh of the Hebrew month of Heshvan, coinciding with the reading of the Torah portion in which Abraham is told to leave his home to go to what is now Israel.
The bill was proposed by MKs Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu), Avraham Neguise (Likud), Miki Zohar (Likud), Hilik Bar (Zionist Union) and others.
On Aliya Day, schools will teach about the contributions immigrants made to Israel, the cabinet will hold a special meeting and ceremonies will be held by the President’s Residence, the IDF and police.
Naguise said “the law is declarative but is very important to ensure the recognition of the importance of aliya and encouraging it, and improving the treatment of new immigrants, so that we recognize every new immigrants brings a significant contribution to the country.”
Jay Shultz, founder of TLV Internationals and president of the Am Yisrael Foundation, which helped conceive of the bill, said: “We have tremendous gratitude to the members of Knesset that chose to adopt and champion our young immigrants grassroots community movement celebrating Aliya Day... It is incredibly meaningful that we as young Jews can connect the biblical historical truth of Joshua crossing the Jordan to our modern practical reality.
It is the ideal of aliya and the pioneering contributions of immigrants in each generation that make this the easiest time in history to be a Jew living in the Land of Israel.”
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