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September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘nefesh b’nefesh’

Spain Passes Citizenship Restoration Law for Jews Expelled in 1492

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

It has only taken a half a millenium, but on Thursday Spain passed a law granting citizenship to any descendant of Jews expelled from the country in 1492.

The law – which took three years to create – was hailed as a “historic rehabilitation” by Justice Minister Rafael Catala and Foreign Minister Manuel Garcia Margallo.

It was in 1492, as Colombus was preparing to set sail to explore the New World that Jews were given an ultimatum: convert to Christianity, or leave.

Those who stayed and pretended to convert became known over the centuries as “Marranos” – the “hidden” ones – or “Anusim” – the “forced” ones. Their descendants are scattered throughout the world, including many who later ended up intermarrying with Muslims, some who live in Judea and Samaria. Their families still keep fragments of Jewish traditions in their homes, although most no longer remember why.

The Jews who chose to preserve their identity and left, fled to North Africa and the Middle East, many of whom arrived in what is now known as Turkey.

The Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain said in an official statement on Thursday that passage of the law in Madrid had launched a “new stage in the history of the relationship between Spain and the Jewish world; a new period of encounter, dialogue and harmony.

Contrary to what one might think, the descendants of those expelled not harbored feelings of hatred or resentment but rather the contrary, they cultivated a deep love for the land they were from and intense loyalty to tradition and language received of their elders,” the statement continued.

The law goes into effect in October, when the Jewish community can begin the process of checking the lineage of anyone who wishes to activate their once-proud centuries-old Spanish citizenship.

That process involves proving one’s ancestry, showing a basic knowledge of Spain and its culture, and embarking upon a minimum of one pilot trip to the country. In addition, one must pay an application fee of 100 Euros for the privilege. So much for “restoration.”

Under Israel’s Law of Return, any person is entitled to citizenship in the Jewish State if he or she can prove that one grandparent — either maternal or paternal — is Jewish. The pace of the “ingathering of the (Jewish) exiles” described in the Torah has been growing over the past decade. Jews who were driven from the Land of Israel by the Romans and the Babylonians have begun to return through the efforts of groups such as Michael Freund’s Shavei Israel, Nefesh B’Nefesh and others.

27 Yr-Old Oleh Fulfills Father’s Dying Wish, Reports to IDF

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Uzi Hangadi, 27, made Aliyah this past week from San Diego, CA, following a promise he made to his father, before he died of cancer. The promise was to continue what he started in the US, and to devote his entire life to the struggle to improve Israel’s image in the world. With the help of Nefesh B’Nefesh, in cooperation with the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF USA, Uzi fulfilled his promise and went to the IDF recruitment office yesterday.

When Uzi’s parents divorced, his father returned to Israel and started a new family, while his mother remained with him in Los Angeles. Uzi’s father took advantage of every opportunity to convince Uzi to enlist in the IDF and protect his Jewish homeland, but Uzi knew he could not leave his mother, who was suffering from ALS, on her own.

On the other side of the ocean his father was battling cancer (which was kept a secret from him). When Uzi was 19, his father’s cancer suddenly worsened, and he received a surprising phone call from his uncle to come to Israel as soon as possible in order to say goodbye.

Uzi managed to reach the hospital in time, and was able to assure his father that he will make Aliyah and enlist in the IDF. Hours later, his father lost consciousness and died. A short six months later, Uzi’s mother passed away, leaving him an untimely orphan. He decided then that he would fulfill his promise to his father and realize his dream of moving to Israel, which was in essence his own lifelong dream .

After making Aliyah a few days ago, Uzi reported to the IDF recruitment office and plans to serve in an elite combat unit.

In addition to his difficult personal journey, Uzi experienced a number of anti-Semitic incidents during his studies at UCLA, where he was attacked by pro-Palestinian activists and had his life threatened on Facebook and offline.

Uzi used to conduct lectures and workshops for students and interested US citizens who were less knowledgeable regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, and as part of the various protests and demonstrations he participated in was subject to countless anti-Semitic acts, curses and threats. He was attacked physically and had personal property destroyed.

He explains that many times he felt his life was in danger, someone was breathing down his back or he was being followed. The more he tried to advocate for Israel, the more he felt the threats growing around him. In Israel, he hopes to continue to dedicate his life to Israel advocacy, first in the army and later on by working to improve Israel’s image in the world.

Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh added: “Uzi’s story portrays a moving story of a young man, who despite so many personal challenges, not only chose to fulfill an intimate promise to his father but to also fight for the realization of the Zionist dream, and became an Israeli who is dedicating his life to his people and his country.”

6 Anglo Aliyah Immigrants to Receive NBN Bonei Zion Prize

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Six olim (immigrants) from English-speaking countries who have made a major impact on the State of Israel will be awarded the Nefesh B’Nefesh 2015 Bonei Zion Prize next Tuesday, May 12 in a ceremony at the Knesset Auditorium.

MK Tzachi Hanegbi will attend and also present an additional Lifetime Achievement Award to Tal Brody for his contribution to shaping and helping Israel though sports and dedicated hasbarah (public communications) efforts.

Professor Charles Sprung, director of the General Intensive Care Unit at Hadassah Medical Organization is to receive an award in the field of Science and Medicine.

Jon Medved, founder and CEO of OurCrowd will receive an award for his work in the field of Entrepreneurship and Technology.

Rabbi Dr. Seth Farber, founder and executive director of ITIM, the organization that helps people who want to convert to Judaism, will receive an award for his work in the field of Community and Non-Profit.

Chana Reifman Zweiter, founding director of Kaleidoscope / The Rosh Pina Mainstreaming Network, is set to be awarded the prize in the field of Education.

Asher Weill, publisher and editor, will be awarded the prize in the field of Culture, Sports & Arts.

IDF Staff Sgt. Asaf Stein, PhD, will receive the IDF and National Service Young Leadership Award.

Nefesh B’Nefesh was founded in 2002 to help increase the success of North American aliyah to Israel. In cooperation with the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency for Israel, the organization continues its commitment to bringing Jews from North America and the UK on aliyah to Israel.

NBN works to remove or minimize financial, professional, logistic and social obstacles that are often involved in a move to the Jewish State through its unique support and comprehensive social services. As a result, more than 90 percent of the “anglos” who have moved to Israel with the help of NBN have remained there.

Israel Police Calling for Gun-Toting Volunteers

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

The Israeli police have sent out a call, asking Jerusalem’s citizens who own guns to join the official civilian auxiliary patrols (“Mishmar Ezrachi”) to help guard the city, according to Israel Army Radio.

Gun license applications are at a high right now, and this week the Gun License Bureau’s website crashed from all the traffic.

Nefesh B’Nefesh has provided the following information for Olim applying for a gun license from the Ministry of Public Security.

Please note: NBN does not assist in getting gun licenses and you should address all inquiries directly to the  Gun License Bureau.

Citizens who apply for a firearm license are subject to a number of criteria:

-Residence in Israel for three years from the date of Aliyah

-Minimum age of 27, not including those who served in the IDF or national service where the minimum age is 21

-Basic reading and writing skills in Hebrew

-No criminal record, approved by the Israeli police department

-Health declaration signed by a physician

Licensing Procedure:

-Submission of the application and the medical declaration

-Personal interview with the licensing clerk

-Receiving the recommendation from the police and Ministry of Health

-Receiving the license

-Training on the firearm

-Paying the license fee

Historically, Israeli civilians have been responsible for neutralizing many of the Arab terrorist attacks. It is actually unusual that in this round of the war, it has been the police that have killed most of the terrorists. This may be the result of fewer Israelis carrying weapons after the government reportedly made gun licensing more difficult.

E., an Oleh from the US, told JewishPress.com that even though he has completed the licensing process, the actual final appointment to sign some more forms in front of the clerk and physically receive his license is still only months away. E. said, “the procedure itself is not difficult, it is just a very slow and needlessly drawn out process.”

A Presidential Welcome to Israel

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Only in Israel…

Israeli President Ruby Rivlin personally welcomed new Olim (immigrants) as they step off the plane today, August 12, 2014.

This flight was called the “Soldier’s Flight” as 110 of the young people on this Aliyah flight are joining the IDF.

New Olim on the "Soldier's Flight" right after landing in Israel.

New Olim on the “Soldier’s Flight” right after landing in Israel.

New US, Canadian Immigrants Arrive, Undeterred by Gaza Terror

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

North Americans are ignoring the largely skewed news coverage they are being fed by mass media abroad and continuing to ‘come home to Israel’ regardless of the grim news headlines around the conflict with Gaza.

One of the special Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah flights from New York that takes place each summer arrived bright and early Tuesday, bringing 338 new “olim” to Ben Gurion International Airport on the wings of Israel’s national carrier, El Al Airlines.

The 38 new Israeli families included 107 children and 108 young men and women who are soon to become soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces.

The new immigrants, who came from the United States and Canada were welcomed by top government officials at a special ceremony held under tight security inside the airport.

One-Third of Plane of ‘Olim’ to Enlist in IDF

Monday, August 11th, 2014

The next batch of new immigrants – “olim”- from the United States is scheduled to land at Ben Gurion Airport Tuesday morning, and 108 of the 338 newbies are planning to enlist directly into the IDF.

The charter flight by the Nefesh B’Nefesh group will fly 37 families, including 107 children, all of whom will be greeted by Israel’s new President, Reuven Rivlin, Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky, among other officials.

Aliyah form the United States and Canada is co-sponsored by the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Aliyah, the Jewish national Fund (JNF) and the “Tzofim garin Tsabar” movement that oversees the enlistment of olim ready to start out their lives in Israel as soldiers.

New York Yankees president Randy Levine treated 40 of the prospective new soldiers to a baseball game as a going-away present.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/one-third-of-plane-of-olim-to-enlist-in-idf/2014/08/11/

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