December 27th saw the arrival of Nefesh B’Nefesh’s 23rd chartered Aliyah flight. This flight brought over 220 new Olim including a record number of 96 singles and 32 young couples and families. The youngest Oleh was 8 weeks old while the oldest was 87 year old Samuel Haber, who happened to work as a mechanic on the Exodus ship in France, before its historic voyage to Israel.
Perhaps the most significant milestone was the arrival of the 10,000th Oleh to make Aliyah through Nefesh B’Nefesh since 2002. Representing the 10,000th and 10,001st Olim were Simcha and Rachel Gluck. Simcha and Rachel have been married for five years and made Aliyah from Queens. Before meeting Simcha, Rachel had plans for an extended stay in Israel. “I said to Simcha that I would agree to return to New York and marry him on condition that the day would come when we would return to Israel,” she said. Simcha plans to study and work as a life coach and facilitate self-improvement seminars. Rachel will be working as a realtor.
On hand to greet the Olim was Former Mossad Director Danny Yatom, and words of welcome were offered by both former Israel Ambassador to the UN, Dore Gold, and Head of Strategic Studies of the Shalem Center, Natan Sharansky. The welcome ceremony was attended by over 850 people, including post-high school students from three seminaries who added an air of enthusiasm and ruach (spirit) that was unprecedented.
In addition to the Aliyah flight from JFK, was a group flight of over 50 Olim from the UK whom arrived later the same day. The next chartered Aliyah flight serving UK Olim is scheduled for the Summer of 2007.
Despite leaving the airport under fierce weather conditions and battling a Jerusalem snowstorm all the Olim reached their final destination… Home.
To learn more about Aliyah, NBN, and NBN informational events in your area please visit www.nbn.org.il
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.