Over 200 new immigrants are expected to arrive in Israel later this week, undeterred by the prospect of beginning a new life in a country under rocket attack.
A special chartered flight by the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization is scheduled to land at Ben Gurion Airport Tuesday with 228 immigrants from the US and Canada, 100 of whom are children.
For some of the new arrivals, there was no question of turning back, despite the relentless rocket fire from the Gaza Strip on southern and central Israeli towns and cities since the start of the Israel Defense Force’s Operation Protective Edge on July 8.
Israel launched the military campaign to try to stem the insistent rocket fire by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.
“Cancelling or postponing our trip was never an option,” said Sarah Bergman, 31 of Waterbury, Connecticut, who will be moving with her husband, Fred, 34 and children Eliyahu, 10; Zev, 8; Azriel, 6; and Elisheva, 2. “Even though we’re flying into a war zone, we’re just as excited as we always were.”
The immigration to Israel, called aliya in Hebew, was coordinated with the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael and JNF-USA.
A total of 29 families and 54 singles are slated to set out on Tuesday. Some are planning to live in the country’s north or south, regions that have borne the brunt of rocket attacks on Israel in the past.
“We are preparing our children by watching videos and talking about the situation,” added Bergman, who intends to settle in Even Shmuel, just 43 kilometers from the Gaza Strip, and within rocket range. “Our family is concerned, but this is where we’re going.”
Leaving nothing to chance, the Immigrant Absorption Ministry has prepared information leaflets for each of the travelers, explaining security measures to be taken in Israel if a rocket siren goes off. In addition, the Home Front Command also provided information, in English, explaining how to talk to children about the current security situation.
Earlier this month, 64 new immigrants also arrived from the US to live in Israel.
Founded in 2002, the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization has worked with the Israeli government to bring some 40,000 North American immigrants to Israel.