A group of some 100 Jews from North America landed at Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday morning, a group organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh in cooperation with the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, The Jewish Agency, KKL-JNF and Jewish National Fund-USA
The Olim on this group Aliyah flight were comprised of 35 families and singles ranging in ages from one year to 80 years old. They came from a variety of states, including Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia, Texas and Quebec in Canada.
“Summer is always the busiest season for Aliyah, and this year is no exception with over 2,000 Olim choosing to make Israel their home in these eight weeks alone,” said Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, Rabbi Yehoshua Fass.
The new Olim will be moving to cities all across Israel, including Modi’in, Tel Aviv, Beit Shemesh and Ma’alot in the North of the country. Nearly a third of the group, 28 individuals, will be making Jerusalem their home in Israel.
Several other Nefesh B’Nefesh group flights are scheduled over the upcoming weeks of summer.
Among the Olim who landed was 80-year-old Ray Negari, who emigrated with his wife in the 1960s from Iran to the US. He said excitedly after landing that during his childhood in Iran, his father would tell him and his seven brothers and sisters stories about the Land of Israel.
A few years ago, at the age of 77, “I found myself deciding that the time had finally come to fulfill my dream and create a home for myself in the Jewish State. It’s never too late to live out your dreams,” he shared.
“I am proud and happy to know that despite the years that have gone by, I am going to be setting up my home in Israel and be able to enjoy living with my brothers and sisters in Israel as we have always dreamt,” he added.
There were a few Olim from this morning’s flight who plan on joining the IDF as Lone Soldiers. Omer Doar, 18, from New Jersey said that since he was young, “I heard stories about my mother’s uncle, Alberto, who served in the IDF’s 890 Paratroopers Battalion and was killed in the Yom Kippur War. I feel it is my familial and Zionist duty to step up and protect the country and continue in his path.”
He hopes to join in the Paratroopers Brigade, and “in time be able to proudly wear my uncle’s red beret.”
Doar’s sister May also made Aliyah a few years ago and served in the IDF. She is now studying Special Education in Jerusalem.
Gal Gur Lavi, 18, also from New Jersey, has two parents who served in the Israeli Air Force (IAF). When asked why she made Aliyah and is planning to join the IDF, she responded simply and confidently, “Israel is my home.”