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The single biggest day for western aliya since 1948 is due to take place on August 16, when three flights carrying 500 new immigrants from the United States, Canada and Britain are scheduled to arrive within moments of each other.
On Thursday, a plane will arrive from New York's JFK Airport, bringing 240 new olim hailing from 33 US states. It will be the first of seven Nefesh B'Nefesh planes that are slated to bring a total of 2,000 Western olim this summer.
During the next two months, Nefesh B'Nefesh, in partnership with the Jewish Agency, will be chartering five planes from New York, and one each from Canada and Britain. The 2,000 new immigrants comprise 400 families and 450 singles coming to start their lives anew in Israel.
Where will they live? The answer will shape their lives. "People go anywhere from the north to south of Israel," said Yael Katsman, head of public relations for Nefesh B'Nefesh.
"Especially in the more concentrated English-speaking communities in both cities and newer settlements such as Modi'in, Beit Shemesh, Jerusalem, Hashmonaim and Ra'anana," Katsman said.
These new Israelis represent a wide variety of professionals: doctors, lawyers, social workers, teachers and financial advisers, to name a few.
Nefesh B'Nefesh, founded in 2002, has helped to bring thousands of new olim, with 99 percent still in Israel. In 2006, they are expecting a record 3,500 olim, a 700% increase over four years ago.
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