Twenty-four people hailing from New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Thursday to start new lives in Israel through an aliyah flight and program organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh, in cooperation with the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and Jewish National Fund-USA.
Aliyah (going up) is the immigration of Jews from the diaspora to the Land of Israel as prophesied in the book of Jeremiah:
And there is hope for your future —declares Hashem: Your children shall return to their country Jeremiah 31:16
The new immigrants (olim) included 10 families and singles ranging in ages from a 9-month-old to a 73-year-old, and two sisters who decided to make aliyah together.
Nefesh B’Nefesh has set up a dedicated hotline for the new arrivals during this time in order to maintain as close contact as possible and lend any support needed. In addition, special funding has been allocated for this purpose in order to offer any additional assistance needed at this time.
The two-dozen individuals will move directly into quarantine for 14 days in cities across Israel, including Jerusalem, Beersheva, Holon, Modi’in, Netanya, Ra’anana, Tzfat and Yad Binyamin.
Among the olim who landed this morning were Aviva and Tzvi Karoly with their two young children.
“When we first learned that we would likely be put in mandatory quarantine upon arrival, I was a bit freaked out,” acknowledged Aviva Karoly in a goodbye letter to her community of Washington Heights, N.Y. “However, within minutes of my posting on a Facebook page for the community, I was inundated with volunteers offering to bring us groceries, toys, books and anything else we might need. Complete strangers were literally lining up to help us.”
“How amazing are the people of Modi’in, and we are so excited to be part of this community,” she said. “There are literally piles of supplies stocked outside our door just waiting for us to come home.”
The group flight is one of several planned for 2020. Nefesh B’Nefesh is expecting 20 more people to arrive over the course of the next two weeks.
Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, said “it is remarkable to see that aliyah is continuing amid increasingly complex global circumstances. These new olim, more than ever, represent the future of the State of Israel as they fulfill their dreams of helping to build the Jewish nation. We are ready to assist them throughout the process in order for them settle into their new homes as smoothly and comfortably as possible during these challenging times.”
Breaking Israel News contributed to this report.