web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



The Eagles Have Landed

Even the smallest arrivals are happy when they come home to the Holy Land.

Even the smallest arrivals are happy when they come home to the Holy Land.
Photo Credit: Nefes B'Nefesh live video screen shot

Israeli summer is in full glory – ice-cold watermelon, late-afternoon cookouts, summer camp, and the arrival of another planeload of smiling, energized immigrants from North America, courtesy of Nefesh b’Nefesh, the Jewish Agency, the Ministry of Absorption, and the Jewish National Fund.

The third flight since June 18 brought 229 Jews home on the “wings of eagles” from New York’s JFK airport.

Two young olot actually fulfilled the custom of kissing the hallowed ground, in this case the Ben Gurion tarmac.

Two young olot actually fulfilled the custom of kissing the hallowed ground, in this case the Ben Gurion tarmac.

The new Israelis – young and old, singles and large families – were greeted with tears and warm embraces from family members, as well as songs and a celebratory, 800-people welcoming ceremony organized by Nefesh b’Nefesh and its partners.

There was an 800-people welcoming ceremony on hand.

There was an 800-people welcoming ceremony on hand.

Among the dignitaries present to address the honored immigrants was Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Chairman MK Danny Danon.

“I’m honored, and we are all excited to come and greet you today because for you it’s a special moment, but also for the people of Israel,” Danon told the attendees.  Offering respect to recently deceased Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir, Danon told the crowd a story about a question he once asked the respected Israeli leader.

“After I introduced him in an event in Florida many years ago, I was younger, with more hair…  I asked Shamir ‘what was your great achievement? Leading the underground? Being in the Mossad? Being the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the prime minister? What was your great achievement , Mr. Shamir?  He told me ‘Listen, young guy. The great thing is to bring olim to eretz yisrael [the Land of Israel]’, that’s what he believed, and that is what we are doing here today.”

However, Danon offered a stark contrast between the number of immigrants choosing Israel as their home, and the number of Africans doing the same.  “Unfortunately, there are more African infiltrators who come from Africa to Israel than olim who come to Israel every year.  So the government must do more,” Danon said.

“I want to tell you, the people who made the decision – for you, it was a personal decision.  You chose to bring your family, you chose to come to live in Israel, you made the right decision.  The best place to bring up, to educate Jewish families is here in Israel, and I know that you come from a wonderful community, but you will not regret it.”

In the 10 years since Nefesh b’Nefesh’s inception, the group has assisted 30,000 Americans, Canadians, and British Jews in making aliyah.  Included in that number are 2,500 new IDF soldiers, 378 physicians and psychologists, 650 scientists and medical professionals, and 2,300 new residents in Judea and Samaria. The good times have kept on rolling after the planes landed, with  immigrants celebrating 4,000 births, and 640 marriages.

Yael Katzman, Director of Communications for Nefesh b’Nefesh, said that while the organization continues to receive applications from Jews of all backgrounds and personal situations, it has noticed an increase in the number of singles and young professionals choosing to make Israel home.  Nefesh b’Nefesh has responded by specializing events and information for the group.

“We’re doing all sorts of special programming for them,” Katzman said.  “Next month we have a boat ride we’re organizing in the NY area so they can get together and hear about Israel and aliyah and network with each other.”  Approximately 1,400 young professionals are expected to touch down in 2012.

One of those young professionals is Tag Adler, son of Yeshiva University Dean Norman Adler, who returned to Israel after several years in Los Angeles while his wife pursued her PhD, and left the illustrious Google Corporation to make Israel home.

“The market here is incredible for hi-tech in general – this is ‘startup nation’, so I knew that if I left Google, I could come here and find another job and luckily I was able to do that,” Adler said. “And there’s so much talent here and so much opportunity, that people should not be intimidated to come here to get a better job. In fact, I got a really good job, even a step up from what I was doing with someone else, so the dream can come true in Israel.  You can have your cake and eat it too here in Israel.”

According to Katzman, the majority of American immigrants harken from New York and New Jersey.  Among the concerns Nefesh b’Nefesh helps them address are separation from family members staying behind in the Diaspora, language barriers, and employment.

“Nefesh b’Nefesh was created on the foundation of helping people overcome the obstacles, whether it’s employment or integration or bureaucratic processing, but these are all things Nefesh b’Nefesh has tried to help with and it’s the secret to our success in the last decade,” Katzman said.

Despite criticism that Nefesh b’Nefesh has not garnered a huge surge in the number of Jews hearing the call to return to the homeland, Katzman noted that Nefesh b’Nefesh applications continue to pour in, and that the numbers are only rising.  “We’re expecting close to 5,000 olim this year,” Katzman said.  “We have never experienced a decrease in the number of olim – we’ve only gone up.”

Overwhelmingly, said Katzman, Nefesh b’Nefesh olim are Jews who connect deeply to their Jewishness.

“The people who are making aliyah are people who are affiliated or people who feel a strong sense of Jewish identity, they are committed,” said Katzman.

“Your family’s going to have to respect your decision that you have to live your dream, and they’re going to have to really love you and set you free to do that,” Adler said.  “But ultimately you’re going to have to make that choice to live that dream.”

 

About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “The Eagles Have Landed”

  1. thanks Yori for inserting great pictures! Mazel tov to all the new olim, their families, their communities, and their nation.

  2. Yori Yanover says:

    You know, I compared our report to the TOI report of the same ("Nefesh B’Nefesh celebrates tenth birthday with a planeload of new immigrants") — and I have to say, our was written with a bit more life…

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colin H. Kahl, VP Joe Biden's new national security adviser.
Biden’s New NSA Chief Mocked Israeli Nuke Fears
Latest News Stories
Colin H. Kahl, VP Joe Biden's new national security adviser.

Biden’s new national security adviser dissed Israel in the Democratic party platform and mocks Iran’s danger.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas speaking in Ramallah, July 1, 2014.

PA leader Abbas demands UN force Israel back to 1949 Armistice Line by Nov. 2016.

The car of the acting rabbi of an Atlantic City synagogue mysteriously burst into flames during the three-day Rosh HaShanah-Shabbat period.

Car fires are car fires,” said the Atlantic City fire chief. But the car was parked!

U.S. President Barack Obama, Sept. 8, 2014.

US admits its ‘no-strike if any civilians might be hit’ policy does not apply to its airstrikes against ISIS.

Israeli police revealed on September 30 that they are now investigating the possibility that a fellow Arab worker may have cut the cable that held Arami as he was doing exterior work on a building.

A 14-year-old Dutch Muslim high school student is suspended after posting a video saying he is “from ISIS” and wants to “behead Jews.”

PM Netanyahu and US Pres. Obama met Wednesday evening for 75 minutes at the White House in Washington DC.

Israel talks with building blocks. The Palestinian Authority throws them.

The Palestinian Authority continues to remove its mask and show it is Hamas in sheep’s clothing.

How do some of the other issues Obama discussed in his 2013 U.N. General Assembly speech look through today’s lens?

“I think there’s no question that support for Israel will, I think, increase dramatically with the Republican leadership in the Senate,” Matthew Brooks, executive director of the RJC and the Jewish Policy Center think tank, told JNS.

As expected, one of the biggest themes throughout the week long UN gathering was a focus on the threat posed by Islamic State to the international world order, with nearly every major world leader mentioning the U.S.-led international efforts underway to combat the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

“You want to know what this wine looked like, which wine King David drank, white or red…. We can see if it’s red or white, strong or weak.”

For diehard Jewish fans of “The Simpsons,” a Mourner’s Kaddish will be in order at this weekend’s Yom Kippur services.

A recent Jerusalem municipal decision regarding a virgin, angered ultra-Orthodox representatives.

B’Tselem is once again able to use Israel’s national service volunteers to attack Israel’s efforts at self-defense and sovereignty.

More Articles from Malkah Fleisher
Godzilla (R.)

A green bell pepper affectionately dubbed “Godzilla” by the children of Moshav Ein Yahav in the northern Arava desert has won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Though the permissibility of watching hired sports players go to battle in a large stadium is a source of controversy amongst Torah observant Jews, the food being served at the upcoming Super Bowl games in New Orleans is not.

Rabbi Yitzchok Moully, youth director at the Chabad Jewish Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, will be introducing a new art installation in honor of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year of Trees, inspired by the destruction of Hurricane Sandy.

More than 2,000 people have made contributions in memory of the young victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut to plant a grove of trees in Israel.

Shoshana Hebshi, a half-Jewish, half-Arab woman from Ohio is suing Frontier Airlines, the FBI, TSA and other governmental agencies after she says she was forced off a flight, strip-searched, and imprisoned on the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks.

Women may enter military combat in the United States, following the lift of a military ban on women in combat by defense secretary Leon Panetta.

The Jewish National Fund will reconsider a plan to forest parts of the Arava desert, following the request of environmental organizations to consider the impact of trying to alter the native ecosystem.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Israel and western countries not to attempt to stop Iran’s nuclear program through military means.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/67241/2012/07/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: