Final Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah flight of 2020 lands in Israel

Some 198 medical professionals chose to move to Israel in 2020, with most of them joining the frontlines of Israel's fight against the coronavirus, according to NBN.

Olim who arrived on Nefesh B’Nefesh's final aliyah flight of 2020. (photo credit: YONIT SCHILLER)
Olim who arrived on Nefesh B’Nefesh's final aliyah flight of 2020.
(photo credit: YONIT SCHILLER)
The final Nefesh B’Nefesh flight of 2020 landed in Israel on Wednesday afternoon, carrying 48 new immigrants to the Jewish state, NBN announced. The 48 olim who landed this week join the 3,168 people who moved to Israel from North America in 2020. 
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, some 2,625 people have immigrated to Israel from North America since the beginning of the pandemic. NBN received 6,704 applications from people who wanted to immigrate to Israel, which is a 126% increase in interest in aliyah compared to the 3,035 applications in 2019. 
"As we look back at the challenges everyone faced in 2020, we are extremely proud of what we have accomplished together," said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B'Nefesh. "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."
Two Olot Celebrate as they Land on Dec 29, 2020. (Yonit Schiller)Two Olot Celebrate as they Land on Dec 29, 2020. (Yonit Schiller)
Some 198 medical professionals chose 2020 to move to Israel – and most of them joined the frontlines of Israel's fight against the coronavirus, according to NBN. 
When the limitations caused by the pandemic became apparent, NBN pivoted much of its programming to online, to enable its continuation despite the complicated situation. 
The oldest oleh (immigrant) was 97 and the youngest just under three years old. Some 811 families, 1,032 singles and 332 retirees immigrated in 2020. Nearly 400 new immigrants arrived in order to draft into the IDF
"I welcome the dozens of new olim who chose to leave everything, especially during the time of a global epidemic, and fulfil their dreams of building new homes for themselves in Israel,” said Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata.
The Kadoch family, December 29, 2020. (Yonit Schiller)The Kadoch family, December 29, 2020. (Yonit Schiller)
"Many will surely remember 2020 as a challenging and complex year, but the olim who arrived today from across the US – and are part of the last group of olim this year – are enabling it to be shaded in more encouraging and optimistic colors," she said. "Despite COVID-19, the Jewish nation is thriving and Aliyah is continuing."
"The thousands of new olim from North America and around the world – during a year of a global pandemic, lockdowns and almost complete paralysis of international air travel – emphasize how much the longing for Zion is deeply ingrained in the hearts of the Jewish people around the world,” said Isaac Herzog, Chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel.
"Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael is proud to partner with Nefesh B'Nefesh, on its national project of encouraging Aliyah to Northern and Southern Israel as well as Jerusalem," said Ronnie Vinnikov, CDO of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael - Jewish National Fund. "1297 new Olim moved to the periphery in 2020, and are contributing greatly to the development and resilience of the State of Israel."