239 North Americans move to Israel as summer Aliyah season draws to an end bringing total number of summer North American and British Olim to 3,000
NEW YORK, 18 AUGUST 2010: This summer’s final charter Aliyah flight from North America departed August 18th, carrying 239 new Olim to Israel, including Michael Kaplan, formerly of Boulder. This summer’s Aliyah season saw over 3,000 North American and British Jews make Aliyah.
In total, over 732 children made Aliyah this summer from the USA, Canada and the UK through Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Jewish Agency, continuing the trend of yearly growth in western Aliyah. In 2010, Nefesh B’Nefesh expects to bring a total of 5,000 Olim, a 20% increase from 2009.
Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Cooperation and Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galil MK Silvan Shalom attended the ceremony to greet the new Olim and offer words of gratitude and encouragement for their Aliyah by choice. In December 2009, the Ministry of the Development of the Negev and Galil entered a joint initiative with Nefesh B’Nefesh aimed at increasing support for Olim who move to the North and South of Israel.
As our ninth summer draws to an end, it is gratifying to continue to see so many families, children and young professionals choosing to make Israel their home,” said Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. “It is especially rewarding, witnessing the arrival of so many young children who will grow up as Israelis and help shape the future of this county.”
Hundreds of families and friends as well as Israeli dignitaries gathered at Ben Gurion Airport to welcome the country’s newest citizens at the arrival ceremony. Those present included: Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Cooperation and Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galil MK Silvan Shalom; Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office Eyal Gabai; Chairman of the Knesset Caucus for Western Aliyah MK Yoel Hasson; Israel’s outgoing Consul General in New York, Asaf Shariv, who returned to Israel with his family on the charter flight; Director of the English Speaking Division of the Jewish Agency, Yehuda Katz; CEO of El Al, Eliezer Shkedi; Vice Chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh, Erez Halfon; and Co-Founders of Nefesh B’Nefesh Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and Tony Gelbart.