Allan Katz and Leora Stroh of New Jersey got married Sunday, and instead of a honeymoon, the next day they boarded a plane for Israel.
Allan, 23, and Leora, 22, met five years ago in a Jewish summer camp, but did not stay in touch. Eight months ago they met again through a mutual friend, and love was ignited.
During their first conversations it was clear that both were dreaming for years about immigrating to Israel. When they decided to marry one another, it was also clear to both that they would build their new home in the Holy Land.
The newlyweds are making aliyah to Haifa, just before the beginning of the New Year, with the help of Nefesh B’Nefesh.
Leora and Allan at Ben-Gurion Airport (Photo: Jared Bernstein Photography)
Allan, who received his bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva University, has been accepted to Medical School in the Technion and hopes very much to fulfill his dream to be a physician in Israel.
Leora, who received her bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva University, will study in Israel for a master’s degree in Diplomacy and Conflict Studies at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, hoping to then find employment as a diplomat in the Foreign Ministry.
“Rosh Hashana is a time for introspection and making decisions, as it is the start of the New Year,” the couple explained as one of the reasons for the timing of their decision to make aliyah to Israel.
“We decided that if we are already about to get married and start our own family, then why not start everything anew and start our new life in Israel at the beginning of the new Jewish year.”
“Many Jews in the US have dreamt of immigrating to Israel but did not do so in the end. We are choosing not to be amongst those who will look back in the future and regret they did not make aliyah.”
Wonderful New Year gift
Nefesh B’Nefesh is marking a decade since it was founded – a period during which it has helped more than 33,000 new immigrants to reach Israel from North America.
“The State of Israel cannot ask for a more wonderful gift in honor of the New Year than the decision of this young couple to move to Israel and make aliyah immediately after their wedding and establish a new Israeli family,” says Deputy Chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh Erez Halfon.
“Nefesh B’Nefesh will aid Leora and Alan with all arrangements following their wedding to ensure that their first Rosh Hashana as newlyweds and new Israelis will be one they will never forget.”