Some 215 new immigrants from the United States and Canada landed Wednesday morning at Ben Gurion Airport, arriving at the peak of the wave of immigration this summer. They will join over 1300 immigrants from North America who have immigrated since the beginning of 2023.
The charter flight was comprised of 22 families with 75 children among them, 15 single men and women and 17 retirees. The youngest oleh on the flight was 4 months old, and the oldest oleh was 77 years old. Also onboard the flight were seven doctors and 15 health professionals who will be integrating into the Israeli medical system. Some 27 Olim on the flight are part of the Nefesh B’Nefesh-KKL Go Beyond initiative, which is aimed at developing Israel’s peripheral regions and Jerusalem.
There were also dozens of young adults who will enlist in the Israel Defense Forces as lone soldiers. They will be drafting with Garin Tzabar, a Friends of Israel Scouts program which offers support before and throughout military service, and coordinates communities around Israel to serve as a home away from home for these individuals.
It is the 64th Nefesh B’Nefesh chartered Aliyah flight through El Al Israel Airlines, in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah & Integration, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL), Jewish National Fund-USA and Tzofim-Garin Tzabar.
For the first time, the immigrants on the flight were able to go through the full absorption process and receive their Teudot Oleh (immigration certificates) while onboard, finalizing their aliyah process.
“It was my absolute joy to welcome these new Olim upon their arrival in Israel. It is especially exciting to see families with kids and young adults embrace the Zionist dream of making Aliyah,” said Ofir Sofer, Minister of Aliyah and Integration. "I wish the new Olim much success, as well as a smooth and comfortable absorption in Israel. Welcome home!”
“Each and every Oleh carries with them a unique story, yet what bonds them together is a unified love for our homeland, shared goals and collective action,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “It teaches us that diversity exists within unity - that shared values and commitment can bind different individuals and groups together. Watching each of these Olim walk onto the tarmac and witness their elation as they take their initial steps in their new homes is both inspiring and moving."
Minister of Interior and Health Moshe Arbel said in a statement that he is pleased that many of the new immigrants "will be contributing toward Israel’s leading health system." He added: "I wish all the olim success in their new lives in Israel and am confident they will make significant contributions to strengthening the medical system in Israel. Welcome home!”
"With each flight of new Olim arriving to Israel, we are empowering the fulfillment of the Zionist dream and strengthening the state of Israel - The one and only miracle," said Jewish Agency Chairman Maj. Gen. (res.) Doron Almog.
Wednesday's immigrants come from across the United States and Canadian provinces, including New York, New Jersey, California, Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts, Ontario, Minnesota and Illinois. The main Israeli cities they are moving to include Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Ra'anana, Beit Shemesh, Haifa, Afula and Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut.
First published: 08:12, 08.16.23