Cousins Meet for First Time on Immigration Flight to Israel
A pair of cousins met for the first time on Tuesday — on an aliyah flight to Israel.
Third cousins David Weitzman and Jacob Roshgadol found out they were immigrating to the Jewish state at the same time, after latter’s mother, Reena, made the connection with the former’s aunt on Facebook.
“David’s aunt, who lives in Ra’anana, posted a picture from her son’s wedding on Facebook and David was in it,” Reena told The Algemeiner, during a special sendoff ceremony on Tuesday in New York. “She wrote that he was her nephew and was making aliyah at the end of the summer.”
“I wrote back to her and said my son is also making aliyah at the end of the summer. She wrote back and told me David was making aliyah on August 16, and I wrote to her that so in my son! That’s how we made the connection,” Reena said.
24-year-old Weitzman — a Dallas, Texas native who graduated from the University of Maryland — and 21-year-old Roshgadol, who also attended the University of Maryland and is making aliyah from Baltimore, both moved to Israel on Wednesday without their families.
Roshgadol will enter the Israeli army as a “lone soldier,” while Weitzman is moving to Ra’anana.
“I made the decision to make aliyah while spending my post-high school year in yeshiva in Israel,” Roshgadol said.
Weitzman said, “I didn’t have this in mind five years ago when I was in college. I hadn’t even been to Israel yet. I took a trip on Birthright, which kind of came out of nowhere, and moving to Israel started as a dream right after. It just got stronger as time went on. Since I applied to make aliyah in December, I’ve been thinking about it daily. It’s surreal that the day is finally here,” he added.
Weitzman and Roshgadol were part of a special aliyah charter flight, which brought the 233 immigrants — including 75 lone soldiers — to Israel on Wednesday. The flight was sponsored by Nefesh B’Nefesh, Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Immigration Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel, JNF-USA and Tzofim-Grain Tzabar.