|Nefesh B'Nefesh 'Soldiers' Flight' lands in Israel, Jerusalem Post 14th August 2013|
Nefesh B' Nefesh flight brings 330 more North American immigrants to Israel
Among those making aliya are 125 young people set to serve Israel in the IDF.
Olim arrive in Israel with Nefesh B'Nefesh, August 13, 2013.
Some 330 North Americans making aliya arrived at Ben- Gurion Airport from New York on Tuesday morning on a flight chartered by Nefesh B'Nefesh.
The "lone soldiers" are to be part of the Garin Tzabar program, which provides them with support and a number of benefits during their service.
Of the 2,800 lone soldiers now in Israel, about 900 hail from North America.
Forty-one families and 88 children were on the flight chartered by Nefesh B'Nefesh (NBN). Ninety-two of the immigrants are moving to the periphery as part of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund's Go South and Go North programs.
Upon arrival in Israel on Tuesday, some 1,600 people greeted the immigrants.
Among those on hand to welcome them at the airport were Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar, head of the IDF Personnel Directorate Maj.-Gen. Orna Barbivai, Friends of the IDF national director Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yitzhak "Jerry" Gershon, KKL-JNF chairman Efi Stenzler and singer Rami Kleinstein.
Stenzler added, "Our excitement this time is especially great. This is the first time that on one airplane, 125 soldiers are arriving to join the ranks of the IDF. The people of Israel salute you!" He added, "And don't worry. Even if some of you are taking your first steps ever in Israel – after two months in the IDF you will feel that you were born here in Israel."
At a departure ceremony at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of NBN, bid them farewell on their flight to their new homes.
"For 11 years, on 49 flights, I have welcomed thousands as they make their way to Israel," Fass said. "And, it doesn't get any less emotional. All of you, from diverse backgrounds, are coming together in a unified dream – to make Israel your home."
The first flight of the summer arrived in Israel some three weeks ago. It carried 231 North American immigrants, including a record number of 106 children as well as 54 singles. The immigrants were joined on their flight by former IDF captive Gilad Schalit.