Aliyah, Nefesh B'Nefesh, Nefesh B'Nefesh arrival ceremony, Olim

Our Modern Day Rock Stars Have Arrived

Last week, my supervisor and I were discussing the upcoming Nefesh B’Nefesh flight arrival and our plans to attend. We were sharing a sense of wonder at the indescribable nature of the experience and the Aliyah process. In what other country in the world do people wake up at 5:00 in the morning to scream and yell for new arrivals? Where in the world do you see people shrieking for others, dancing together and waving flags to welcome new immigrants to their country? Often times, the people in attendance haven’t come to greet a particular Oleh (new immigrant), but rather just to soak up the ambiance, to strengthen their feelings of Zionism and maybe (like me) to have a good cry.

The experience is incredible. Here, I’ve tried to capture just a few moments of the last 24 hours through video. And what occurred in the last 24 hours? 233 brave North Americans made Aliyah on Nefesh B’Nefesh’s 54th chartered flight. They included 75 who are enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces, 6 volunteers for National Service, 24 families with 78 children and 24 singles. The oldest Oleh who got on that plane and left the comforts of the familiar behind was 85. The youngest? 3.5 weeks. They came to be part of something larger than they are – to make their mark on our soil, in our Homeland, among our people.

Upon their arrival, they were treated like modern day rock stars. As it should be. Catch a glimpse here, enjoy, and join us.

Here is a video from Nefesh B’Nefesh from JFK yesterday, as the soon-to-be-Olim and those sending them off sang Hatikva together.

Here we are, after waking up at 4:30am this morning, getting ready for the arrival of the Olim. Look at how festive this room was for them!

And here come the rock stars!

Welcome New Olim!

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