In changing of the guard at Jewish Agency, Sharansky and Herzog greet new olim

This week sees over 800 people from around the world move to Israel; outgoing agency chief: Immigrants ensure nation 'will grow stronger yet'

Outgoing Jewish Agency head Nathan Sharansky (3rd left) and new chief Isaac Herzog (4th right) welcome new immigrants on a special 'aliyah' flight organized by the Jewish Agency, at Ben Gurion Airport on July 23, 2018. (Jewish Agency Facebook page/Dudi Salem, Zoog Productions)

Over 800 new immigrants are arriving in Israel this week, Army Radio reported Tuesday, joining 12,000 who have made aliyah over the past six months.

The new Israelis include immigrants from the US, France, Russia, Argentina, Ukraine and Brazil, the report said. Six hundred arrived on Monday and Tuesday, with more then 200 more expected Wednesday.

The changing of the guard at the Jewish Agency was on full display on Monday as outgoing chief Nathan Sharansky and his replacement, former Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog, greeted a group of new immigrants at Ben Gurion International Airport.

The agency hosted the immigrants at a special celebration at the airport to mark 70 years of aliyah since the establishment of the State of Israel.

“It is moving to welcome new immigrants to Israel at the start of my term,” Herzog said. “I wish them a swift acclamation period, that they may find a warm and loving home here and that they live happy lives in Israel.”

Sharansky said annual immigration numbers to Israel were growing every year “despite all of today’s challenges in Israel and despite the slander it faces.”

New Jewish Agency head Isaac Herzog at an event welcoming some 300 new immigrants from France on a special ‘aliyah’ flight organized by the Jewish Agency, at Ben Gurion airport on July 23, 2018 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Monday’s event came a day after Tisha B’av, when Jews commemorate the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem, and the exile of the Jewish people from the Land of Israel.

“The 300 immigrants who came here from around the world on the day after Tisha B’Av guarantee that there cannot and will not be a return to the past,” Sharansky said, “and the State of Israel will grow stronger yet.”

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