Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash 90
New immigrants from North America arrive at Ben Gurion airport on a Nefesh B'Nefesh flight

The daughter of former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut arrived in Israel early Wednesday with her husband, their four children and 231 other new olim (immigrants) who made aliyah.

Hana and Daniel Lowenstein brought their four children ages 2 to 7 to live in Israel, where Lieberman’s oldest granddaughter has already become a seasoned Israel.

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“I’m excited, I’m proud of them,” Lieberman told The Jerusalem Post just before the family boarded the plane at JFK airport Tuesday for their aliyah flight with Nefesh B’Nefesh.

“It’s the Jewish future, Jewish destiny. We miss them of course but thank God we have WhatsApp and Facetime and Skype. I’m very grateful tha we live in a time, for the first time in two millennia, that there is a Jewish State of Israel that Jews around the world can go to by choice, and not just because they need a sanctuary.”

More than half of the flight was comprised of children ages 17 and under. The oldest new immigrant is age 80. There were 34 families, 18 singles, three sets of twins, six future IDF soldiers and 15 medical professionals on the flight, according to Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN).

Of those, 62 of the olim plan to move to Israel’s periphery, 35 heading south with the joint NBN-KKL “Go Beyond” project that supports new immigrants who move to those areas, as well as Jerusalem.

This summer alone, more than 2,000 people have made aliyah to Israel from North America with Nefesh B’Nefesh. Since 2002, together with its partners NBN has brought more than 57,000 olim to Israel from the U.S., Canada and the UK.

“These newcomers, together with the country’s veteran olim, are strengthening Israel’s resilience, economic development and society as a whole,” said Minister of Aliyah and Integration, Sofa Landver. “I am so pleased that many of today’s olim are joining our Negev-Galilee project which will help strengthen Israel’s periphery.”

“The group of young olim arriving today will have the tremendous opportunity to grow and develop in Israel, and be part of the modern-day miracle of the Jewish people returning to the Jewish homeland,” added Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.