New Beginnings

Following Israel's latest arrivals as they take their first steps here.

from family 88 (photo credit: )
from family 88
(photo credit: )
The dreams of 230 new immigrants came true as they landed in Israel yesterday afternoon. The Nefesh B'Nefesh aliya organization flight, in conjunction with the Jewish Agency, brought a unique mixture of new immigrants to Israel. "This flight was mainly made up of singles and retirees," said Yael Katsman, director of communications for Nefesh B'Nefesh. The group of newcomers consisted of immigrants from Canada and over 20 states in the United States. The recent war with Lebanon did not appear to dissuade participation. "Our expectations were right on course. Our numbers were not affected," remarked Katsman. Among the new olim, The Jerusalem Post here profiles three participants. Their experiences as they settle in Israel will be documented in an ongoing series, New Beginnings, which will appear on our pages in the next few months. David Levy Age : 27 New location: Tel Aviv Occupation: Advertising David first came to Israel to study at Tel Aviv University at the age of 24. During his year of study he decided to extend his stay and do his Master's degree in Middle Eastern History in Israel. "There's something about this place. It's the energy," explained David, about what kept him here and inspired him to eventually make aliya. "Everyone knows that Tel Aviv has the most beautiful women. It's the best place for singles, and I love the night life. But not having any family here is a little rough," he added. David said that the recent war strengthened his commitment to make aliya. "Whoever wants to come will come regardless. You know what you are getting in to." Azriel, Doreen, and Zohar From Ages: 27 (son Zohar: 21 months) New location: Moshav Gimzo Occupation: Azriel - architect, Doreen - social worker "This was the right time for us to come, both as a family and in our careers," explained Azriel, regarding his family's decision to make aliya now. "Our son is almost two years old. My wife and I now have some career experience. It made sense to move now," he added. Both Azriel and Doreen spent two years studying in Israel after high school. "Since studying here, we knew we wanted to live here," said Azriel. They chose to come at this time to coincide with the Jewish New Year "In my mind, this is a time of new beginnings, a time to embark on new areas of life," he said. Nicole Vahlkamp Age: 22 New location: Tel Aviv Occupation: MBA student at Tel Aviv University Nicole's regular visits to Israel while she was in high school sparked her love of the country. A visit during the second Intifada affirmed to her the need for Jews to support Israel by visiting and living here. "This is not just a country to visit during the good times. I want to be here for all of it, for the good times and the bad times," said Nicole. Nicole chose to express her dedication and ideological support of Israel by making aliya and continuing her studies here. Though Nicole does have an Israeli boyfriend, she made her decision to move here independently, and said that having the support of her boyfriend and his family makes the move a lot easier.