Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nearly 100 young single Jews arrive in Israel on final summer Nefesh b'Nefesh flight


Nearly 100 young Jewish singles from North America arrived in Israel Tuesday, September 8, aboard a chartered El Al Nefesh b'Nefesh (NBN) flight from New York. The singles, all new Olim, arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on the flight that made up a total of 204 New Olim or immigrants, on the last seasonal NBN flight that brought a record 3,000 new Olim to Israel this summer alone. The singles, numbering 24 men and 57 women, decided to try their luck at finding a Jewish spouse in the country that now has the largest number of Jews of any country in the world, including the USA.

What better way to celebrate the coming of the Jewish New Year of 5770?

One young immigrant, Zach Taylor, even wound up proposing to a young female arrival, Nechama Simon, in a touching scene that was later shown on TV. They were a good example of what many singles were saying in that they had good opportunity to "check out other singles on the flight". Many of the young arrivals came also to do army duty, saying that they feel it is their obligation as Jews to serve in the IDF. This summer alone, a total of 14 flights, 4 of them chartered and the rest group flights brought the largest number of NBN Olim to Israel since the Ailyah organization was founded in 2001. Since then, more than 28,000 new Olim from North America and the UK have arrived in Israel, courtesy of Nefesh b'Nefesh.

When asked why so many singles decided to try to try their luck in Israel, many said it was because of the continuing economic situation in America. But many others said it was because they felt something was profoundly missing from their lives. "I love Israeli women, they're much more mature and down to earth than American girls" one young man, Aviel Weinstein (age 26) said. As for Israeli men, Ruth Sagman, 21, from Montreal was quoted as saying: "Israeli men are much more respective of women" (hopefully she won’t follow what is often happening here in the news).

Nefesh b'Nefesh, together with the Jewish Agency, provides the new arrivals with a number of grants and subsidies to help them ease into the mainstream of Israeli life; providing the new Oleh commits to staying at least 3 years in Israel.

Among those on hand to greet the new Olim were a large group of former NBN arrivals, young Israeli soldiers handing out flowers and waving flags, and a number of government and political figures. Among these notables were Opposition Party Leader and Kadima Party head Tsipi Livni and new Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, himself a former Oleh and Prisoner of Zion from the former Soviet Union.

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