Couple engaged after Aliya flight lands

204 new olim on NBN flight include 81 singles hoping to fulfill their aliya dreams.

NBN Aliyah Engagement248.88 (photo credit: )
NBN Aliyah Engagement248.88
(photo credit: )
A young couple celebrated their arrival in Israel in a very personal way - they became engaged. Zach Taylor proposed to Nechama Dina Simon shortly after their Nefesh B'Nefesh (NBN) flight landed on Tuesday at Ben-Gurion International Airport, capping off a momentous day for aliya. Over 200 new immigrants from North America arrived on the flight, including 81 unmarried men and women who decided to try their luck in finding their soul-mates and a new life in Israel. The "Singles Flight" was the final chartered aliya flight this summer arranged by Nefesh B'Nefesh (NBN) and the Jewish Agency, in cooperation with the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption. Tuesday's flight, according to NBN, concluded a record summer of Western aliya for the organization, with over 3,000 olim arriving from North America and the UK, on 16 aliya flights, including four charter and twelve group flights. The group was met at the airport by hundreds of family members, friends and dignitaries, including NBN representatives, as well as opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni (Kadima) and MK Yaakov Katz (NU-NRP). The 204 new arrivals included people of all ages, and almost half of the new olim were under 21 years old. Among the singles were 24 men and 57 women. According to NBN, one of the new immigrants commented that "you can save a lot of time dating and just check out people on the flight." However, not every North American single appeared satisfied with their dating options in their countries of origin. Aviel Weinstein, 26, a new oleh from Brookline, Massachussets, said, "I love Israeli women, they are very different from American girls." "American girls are high maintenance, as opposed to Israeli women who are more relaxed, more mature and more down to earth," added Weinstein. His preference for sabras was not limited to their personalities: "I love the Israeli accent and the fact that they are all tan and in shape." Ruth Sagman, 21, from Montreal, said that "Israeli men are more respectful of women." Sagman told a Ynet news Website reporter her aliya was a fulfillment of her father's dying wish, that she visit Israel one day. Sagman's father passed away two years ago. "I feel that going through the army and life in Israel makes the boys more of a gentleman [sic]," opined the new immigrant. "They are deeper people and kinder people than the Canadians I know. And of course I love the fact that Israeli men are dark and strong - you can't find that look in Canada." An NBN spokesman said the group expects 4,000-4,500 new olim from North America by the end of the year. In addition to the summer record, the flight also set an NBN record for the number of singles on one flight.