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May 7, 2020 9:15 am

Aliyah Continues With 18 Americans in Age of Corona

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New immigrants arrive in Israel on July 4, 2017, on a flight chartered by the Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah agency. Credit: Shahar Azran/Nefesh B’Nefesh. – Eighteen new immigrants to Israel landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Tuesday as part of a Nefesh B’Nefesh group aliyah flight, arriving amid increased interest in aliyah among North American Jews.

The new arrivals, ranging in ages from a year-old baby to a 66-year-old, hail from New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Florida and Illinois, and will be living in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beit Shemesh, Ramat Gan and Jaffa.

The new olim will go directly into quarantine for 14 days, as mandated by the Israeli government.

“Ever since my wife and I first visited Israel over 30 years ago, we have been dreaming of the day when we could come home permanently,” said Ken Goldblatt from Cleveland. “After many visits and years of instilling a love of Israel in our children, we are excited to be joining our daughter in Israel, where she will soon be getting married, and look forward to welcoming our son and his family in the next two months. While it is difficult to leave family and friends in America, we hope to travel back often to visit.”

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A total of 455 new aliyah applications were submitted to Nefesh B’Nefesh (in comparison to 302 in April 2019) throughout April, with 642 individuals downloading applications (in comparison to 417 in April 2019). May is already showing a similar pattern.

“We are committed to finding solutions for all those who want to make aliyah amid the COVID-19 crisis,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “Over the last 18 years, we have provided solutions through challenging times and circumstances.”

The flight was also sponsored by with the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish Agency, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and Jewish National Fund-USA.

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