Seventy-six new immigrants from North America infused Israel with the light of Zionism by celebrating the first night of Hanukkah as new Israeli citizens.
The newcomers arrived Tuesday morning at Ben-Gurion Airport on a Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah flight organized in conjunction with the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and the Jewish Agency.
Andrew Marx, 41, from Little Rock, Arkansas, brought two special menorahs with him, explaining that they “have been in my family for generations and I inherited them from my parents when they passed away. Each one of these menorahs, in a way, represents the light they still shine on me from above. Tonight I will have the privilege of lighting my first Hanukkah candle as an Israeli citizen.”
Olim at Ben-Gurion Airport (Photo: Yonit Schiller, courtesy of Nefesh B’Nefesh)
According to Erez Halfon, vice chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh, “It is very special that these olim are arriving just in time to celebrate Hanukkah in Israel. We are confident that the spark and passion they bring with them will add to the light of Zionism and infuse the State of Israel with renewed idealism and positive energy.”
Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver added, “The arrival of new olim is always a wonderful thing, especially during a holiday season in general and during Hanukkah in particular.
"In the spirit of this holiday, my office will do all it can to ensure that their arrival will be full of warmth and light and that they will have an optimal integration in Israel."