(photo credit: Courtesy)
Thirty new Olim from North America arrived today at Ben Gurion airport and 60 others already here became new citizens through Nefesh B’Nefesh, in conjunction with Israel’s Ministry of Aliya and Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF-USA.
At the same time, at the IDF's Tel Hashomer base in the country’s central region, 104 lone soldier olim – those who immigrate to Israel without family and enlist – officially became IDF soldiers as part of the Friends of the IDF/ Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldiers Program.
Among the olim who became citizens today was London native Josh Steele, a finalist from Israel’s Master Chef TV cooking competition, who is the show’s first Anglo participant. He and the other 59 new Israeli citizens made aliya as part of the Nefesh B’Nefesh Guided Aliya program. The 104 lone soldiers that enlisted today came from over 20 countries, including Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Italy, India, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan, the US, UK, Ukraine and Venezuela.
“The fulfillment of the Zionistic aspirations of these 194 olim while Israel gears up for its 66th Day highlights the integral role of aliya in strengthening the State of Israel,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “With 90 new olim, and 104 new young IDF lone soldier olim coming from over 20 countries from around the world, I couldn’t think of a better gift the State of Israel can receive for its 66th birthday.”
The Guided Aliya program allows citizens of the US, Canada, and the UK currently residing in Israel the opportunity to make aliya through Israel’s Ministry of the Interior, while receiving the full array of Nefesh B'Nefesh services. These services include assisted government processing, financial aid and post-aliya assistance.