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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Nefesh’

Parshas Toldos

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

New York City
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME
November 16, 2012 – 2 Kislev 5773
4:17 p.m. NYC E.S.T.

 

Sabbath Ends: 5:24 p.m. NYC E.S.T.
Weekly Reading: Toldos
Weekly Haftara: Masa D’var Hashem (Malachi 1:1 – 2:7)
Daf Yomi: Shabbos 44
Mishna Yomit: Sotah 1:8-9
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 153:21 –154:1
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Rotzeach u’Shemiras ha’Nefesh  chap. 2-4
Earliest time for tallis and tefillin: 5:49 a.m. NYC E.S.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:14 a.m. NYC E.S.T.

 

The Eagles Have Landed

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

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.”

 

Nefesh B’Nefesh Landing Ceremony

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Watch your family & friends LIVE as they arrive in Israel as new Olim!

Log on to watch the festive welcome ceremony where we celebrate their Aliyah together with hundreds of guests and dignitaries.

The feed will begin on July 12, 2012 at Wednesday, 6AM Israel Time (11PM Wednesday, New York Time).

Stepparenting – Challenge And Opportunity

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Menchlichkeit, good middos, patience and wisdom are the accolades I heard over and over again by stepchildren and stepparents when I asked them to describe the attributes of a good stepparent.

I spoke with those who became stepchildren when a widowed parent remarried. Others came from families where one of their divorced parents married a single person. Then there were those where the new “parent” had also been divorced. At times the “stepparent” had children of their own and the families were blended. But, whether the comments were coming from the perspective of the child or of the stepparent, the ingredients for a successful stepfamily experience were basically the same.

Sima’s* parents divorced when she was quite young. Over the years Sima became religious – her father did not. This had caused a great strain on their relationship, to the point where Sima had to be forced to spend time with him. Several years later, her father remarried a divorced woman with children. To Sima’s new stepmother the strain in the relationship was unacceptable. “I am not interested in being married to a man who does not have a relationship with his children.” So, she decided to take on the role of buffer between him and his children. In addition, Sima was the only girl in this blended family, and her stepmother was thrilled to finally have a “daughter.” All of this made it possible for Sima to have a dad. As far as her stepmother was concerned, there was nothing Sima could do wrong – they got along great. She also never tried to take Sima’s mother place. Once, when Sima called her stepmother “Mom,” she responded, “I’m not your Mom, but I’d like to try to be like her. She’s a wonderful woman.”

Rina showed tremendous wisdom. She was a single woman who married a widower with a large family. The children were quite young at the time of the remarriage. I asked Rina what made her such an exceptional stepmother. Her advice was, “love them as your own children,” and “never erase the memory of the deceased parent, even if some of the children are too young to remember her.”

Rina keeps photo albums readily accessible and both she and her husband tell the children stories about their deceased mother. She constantly reassures them that it is not disloyal to love two mothers. Rina advises that stepfamilies begin therapy immediately, even before the wedding, to allow everyone the time to deal with feelings and adjustments. Above all she says, never poison a child’s mind. Her feeling is that teenagers are the most difficult to deal with, even if you have raised them for most of their lives. She works hard at remembering that they are young and has full faith that they are, in general, good people. She doesn’t take their comments personally. Most special of all, she regularly invites her husband’s former in-laws to spend Shabbos with them and to always feel their status as esteemed grandparents.

Malka was already married when her mother passed away. Her father subsequently married a widow with children. Malka and her family call her Savta to distinguish between her and her deceased mother. Malka has a stepmother on both sides – her father-in-law had remarried as well. And even though he has since passed away, her husband’s stepmother remains an integral part of the family.

Malka says that what she values in both of these women are their warmth and friendly interest. Neither has ever stepped over the boundaries and every member of the family is motivated to be nice to everyone else.

Zahava married a divorced man with children; let’s call him Sholom. Subsequently, she and Sholom had a child together. All of the siblings got along very well. However, Sholom’s first wife and her parents tried to turn the children against Sholom and Zahava.

An important maxim for stepparenting is that “you cannot hate your ‘ex’ more than you love your children.” The stepchildren, who are now grown and live near Sholom and Zahava, have a difficult time having a relationship with them because they feel they would be betraying their birth mother – even though she herself has remarried and had other children. In addition, because the children did not grow up with their father, they resent having to share him with Zahava.

New Olim Are Country’s Hanukah Present

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Just prior to the start of Hanukah, 76 new immigrants from North America added light and happiness to the country, landing at Ben Gurion International Airport.

Seventy-six new immigrants from North America infused Israel with the light of Zionism by celebrating the first night of Hanukkah as new Israeli citizens.

The new Israelis were provided support by Nefesh b’Nefesh.

52 New Immigrants Arrive in Israel

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

The State of Israel welcomed 52 new citizens from the United States on Thursday who made aliyah through the organization Nefesh b’Nefesh.

Among the new arrivals is Genna Brand, who is joining ASA Tel Aviv, Israel’s National Women’s Soccer Champion team.  Geoffrey Rogg, formerly of Great Britain and then New York, originally considered making aliyah in 1971, after a conversation with Prime Minister David Ben Gurion.  Rogg, who had organized an event to raise money for Negev development in London, was invited by Ben Gurion for a visit in Sde Boker.  After briefing the Prime Minister on fundraising efforts, Ben Gurion replied “Young man, all this is well and good but what really interests me is when will you make aliyah to Israel?”

To date, Nefesh B’Nefesh has assisted 29,000 olim, 97% of whom have remained in Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/52-new-immigrants-arrive-in-israel/2011/11/16/

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