The oldest person to immigrate to the Jewish state from the United States in the previous five years was a 101-year-old woman who made aliyah from New Jersey last week.
Amid the British Mandate of Palestine in 1921, Stella Rockoff was born in Jerusalem. When she was five years old, her family moved to Brooklyn, New York, and after she wed Rabbi Herman Rockoff in 1940, she relocated to Pennsylvania.
She eventually moved back to New York, where she worked as the executive secretary of the Rabbinical Council of America and resided with her husband and four children.
She was one of approximately 60 North American Olim who moved back to Israel last week from Clifton, New Jersey, with a daughter and son-in-law.
On an El Al flight arranged by Nefesh B’Nefesh in collaboration with the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, and JNF-USA, the group arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport.
I’ve always wished to return to my home country, stated Rockoff. “Today is a special day for me. My family departed when “the Jewish State” was still just a notion.
Since then, it has grown into the powerful and innovative State of Israel, and I am happy to finally call it home.
In my old-new home, I can’t wait to see my numerous grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and two more great-great-grandchildren.
Elaine and Michael Reinheimer, Rockoff’s daughter and son-in-law who also immigrated to Israel with her, stated that their mother is overjoyed about her reuniting with her family.
The great-grandchildren and grandchildren eagerly anticipate her arrival. Although America has been very kind to us, it is time to return home.
Rockoff’s relocation to Israel, according to Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, “proves that it is never too late to return home.”