Four hundred new immigrants from all over the world arrived in Israel on Monday as part of "Aliyah Day", which was marked by the Jewish Agency and the Absorption Ministry.
The olim will settle in 50 different cities throughout the country.
"This is a day of celebration for Israel. It is due to the new olim that Israel has reached the day in which it celebrates its 60th anniversary," Jewish Agency Chairman Ze'ev Bielski said.
The new immigrants, who hail from Honduras, Australia the US, Russia, France and other countries were greeted at Ben-Gurion Airport in a lavish ceremony attended by Absorption Minister Jacob Edery and Israel's Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar.
Olim greeted at Ben-Gurion Airport (Photo: Yael Branovsky)
Vadim Rivolov waited eagerly at the arrivals terminal with a bouquet in hand for his fiancée Nadia to arrive from Novosivirsk. The two met a year ago over the Internet.
"I am very excited to make aliyah," Nadia told Ynet after she landed, "I believe I'll have many opportunities to succeed here. I am a painter and I taught at a school for the arts.
"I have always thought of immigrating to Israel, and meeting Vadim helped me reach my final decision faster," she said. "I hope my parents will follow soon. I am not deterred by the difficulties that await me."
In the framework of the Keshet project, some 100 parents of lone soldiers were flown into the country on Monday to celebrate Israel's 60th Independence Day with their sons and daughters.
According to Jewish Agency and Absorption Ministry statistics, 3,050,000 olim from over 90 countries arrived in Israel since its inception.
The largest number of new immigrants - 239,954 - was recorded in 1949, while in 1984 less that 10,000 people made aliyah. The majority of the new immigrants arrived from the former Soviet republics.
The oldest new immigrant was 111 years old when she arrived from Georgia.