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Flight of Emotions: Olim Come Home to Israel

Israel recently celebrated the arrival of an aliyah flight powered by Jewish National Fund-USA, Nefesh B’Nefesh, and the hopes and dreams of Israel’s newest immigrants.

Susan and Robert Grossman in Israel.
Susan and Robert Grossman in Israel.

You would expect most passengers to be fast asleep on an overnight transatlantic flight. However, when you’re on an aircraft full of excited olim (immigrants to Israel), who could sleep?

Recently, 230 North American olim took off from JFK Airport bound for a destination that Jews around the world have yearned to return to for 2,000 years – the land of Israel.

New immigrants landing in Israel.

As adults, teens, and children boarded the EL AL flight chartered by Nefesh B’Nefesh, they carried more than just their hand luggage – they also brought their greatest hopes and dreams with them, too.

 

The charter flight was made possible, in part, thanks to the generosity of Jewish National Fund-USA partners (donors), including Lou Cohen (MD), Susan and Robert Grossman (NJ), along with other major donors.

Attracting new olim to Israel is part of Jewish National Fund-USA’s One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade. Central to this plan is inspiring 800,000 new residents to move to the country’s North and South.

As the flight soared towards Israel, the feelings and emotions of those in the cabin were palpable. “When I looked around at all of the olim on the flight, I felt such admiration for them,” said Jewish National Fund-USA Partner, Susan Grossman. “It was interesting to see everyone’s emotions. It’s difficult to change your whole life [moving to Israel], and of course, the more people you take with you, the more complex it is.”

“There was so much excitement on the plane,” added Susan’s husband and fellow Jewish National Fund-USA supporter, Robert Grossman. “When Rabbi [Yehoshua] Fass was addressing the passengers, everyone was cheering and clapping. We thought most people would be asleep, yet everyone was fully awake – which was understandable given the air of enthusiasm on board!”

Through Jewish Philanthropic Investments, the organization has built, and continues to build, medical centers, playgrounds, parks, bomb shelters, resilience centers, and hundreds of water reservoirs, ensuring the country never faces a water emergency again. It also supports agriculture Research & Development, tens of thousands of Israelis with disabilities, and an accredited American high school in Israel.

“I hope many of the olim will consider moving to Israel’s north and south where they can take advantage of the high quality of life opportunities that Jewish National Fund-USA has created through their philanthropic investments in infrastructure and communities,” said Susan.

In reference to Jewish National Fund-USA’s creation of medical centers in towns like Halutza in the Negev, Robert added, “On a more micro level, Nefesh B’Nefesh targets medical professionals, and there are certainly opportunities for people with these skills to build lives in communities on Israel’s frontier.”

As Israel’s newest residents begin their lives in Israel, thousands more from North America are expected to join them over the coming years.

Thanks to organizations like Jewish National Fund-USA, more towns and cities than ever before in Israel’s Negev and Galilee have the infrastructure and amenities to welcome the country’s newest pioneers, and offer them not just a high quality of life – but also a future for them, their children, and countless generations to come.

To support prospective Olim looking to come home to Israel, visit jnf.org/nefesh.

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