48 Nefesh B’Nefesh olim arrive on final 2020 group aliyah flight

They joined over 3,000 olim who made aliyah from North America in 2020

Two Olot Celebrate as they Land on Dec 29, 2020.  (photo credit: YONIT SCHILLER)
Two Olot Celebrate as they Land on Dec 29, 2020.
(photo credit: YONIT SCHILLER)
When the 41st and final Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah group flight of 2020 landed at Ben-Gurion Airport on Thursday, some 48 olim joined the 3,168 new immigrants who moved to Israel from North America over the last year alone – 2,625 since COVID-19 hit.
Despite the pandemic, NBN and its partners – the Aliyah and Integration Ministry, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund USA – successfully navigated a complex year for aliyah (immigration) and succeeded in helping these olim, who are nearly 90% of the total number that arrived in 2019.
Since January of 2020, Nefesh B’Nefesh olim have most often hailed from New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Ontario, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Altogether in the past year, 811 families chose to move their lives to Israel, along with 1,032 singles and 332 retirees.
There were 61 physicians among 198 medical professionals who arrived in Israel last year, most of whom joined the frontlines in Israel’s fight against the coronavirus. There were also 390 young women and men who stepped off the plane with the desire to serve Israel as lone soldiers.
In addition to the olim who arrived throughout 2020, NBN received 6,704 aliyah applications (in contrast to 3,035 in 2019), marking a 126% increase in interest in aliyah.
Through its online operations and due to increased demand, the organization hosted 113 online aliyah informational events (in comparison to 27 in 2019), more than four times as many as last year, with a total of 15,277 participants (in contrast to 1,953 in 2019), representing a 682% increase.
“From the earliest days of the Jewish state, no matter how trying or difficult the circumstances, aliyah has always continued in order to preserve what was once a distant dream for our parents and grandparents,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh.
“As we look back at the challenges everyone faced in 2020, we are extremely proud of what we have accomplished together,” he said. “We look forward to watching each oleh grow and build their new lives in Israel – and eagerly look ahead to 2021, a year with the potential to exceed all expectations in aliyah.”