Aliyah continues under corona – 18 new olim arrive on NBN group flight

Aliyah interest increases amidst COVID-19 Global Crisis by 50%

New olim (photo credit: YONIT SCHILLER)
New olim
(photo credit: YONIT SCHILLER)
Eighteen new Olim landed at Ben Gurion airport Tuesday evening as part of a Nefesh B’Nefesh group Aliyah flight, in cooperation with the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, The Jewish Agency, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and Jewish National Fund-USA. These Olim arrived amidst a wave of increased Aliyah interest among North American Jews.
This past April, 455 new Aliyah applications were submitted to Nefesh B’Nefesh, compared with 302 at the same time last year, and 642 individuals downloaded and began working on their Aliyah applications, compared with 417 the previous April. May 2020 is showing a similar pattern, with an even greater increase.
“Aliyah is on the rise, and it is increasingly being considered a viable option for many Jews around the world. As such, we are committed to finding solutions for all those who want to make Aliyah amidst the COVID-19 crisis,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “Over the last eighteen years, we have provided solutions through challenging times and circumstances. We are working around the clock to help those interested in Aliyah fulfill their dreams and offer practical tools through a variety of virtual programming and individual guidance.”
“The State of Israel is the home of all Jews everywhere, regardless of where they currently live,” said Minister of Aliyah and Integration, MK Yoav Galant (Major-General, Res.). “The absorption of Olim has been a national mission from the founding of the State until today. Even during wars and crises, this activity does not cease. The gates of Israel are open to Olim at all times and this gives me great pride!”
“We are delighted to welcome these new Olim to Israel,” said David Breakstone, Deputy Chairman of the Executive, The Jewish Agency for Israel. “The commitment of those who chose to make Aliyah now, in these uncertain times, is remarkable and very moving, and it is matched by the commitment on our side to take the steps needed to enable the continuation of Aliyah to Israel.”
Yesterday’s new Olim will go directly into a 14-day quarantine as mandated by the Israeli government. They range in ages from 1to 66, hail from New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Florida and Illinois, and will be living in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beit Shemesh, Ramat Gan and Yafo.
This group flight follows twenty Olim who made Aliyah last Thursday through Guided Aliyah, a process in which individuals already living in Israel officially change their status to Israeli citizens.
All images, credit: Yonit Schiller