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At Ben-Gurion Airport, the arrival of 215 immigrants sparks dancing

By 08/17/2023 1:42 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


On Wednesday, a plane carrying 215 immigrants from the United States and Canada touched down at Ben-Gurion Airport, causing tearful family reunions and even dancing in one of the terminals.

“I don’t believe I have ever been happier as I am right now. I’ve had a tremendous dream about it for a long time, said 77-year-old Carol Ginzburg. “Israel is home to many of my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I thus wish to be here.

She continued, “Frankly, I’m eager to be in Israel and done with the insane fights in America.

However, not every immigrant was welcomed by a relative. According to Nefesh B’Nefesh, around a quarter of the immigrants arriving on Wednesday will be enlisted as “lone soldiers,” or troops without family in Israel to provide for them.

Instead, Garin Tzabar, a program that aids lone troops prior to and throughout military duty, will provide them with support. Ariel Hassan, a soldier from New Jersey who will soon be serving alone, expressed excitement about joining the army and his desire to join the IDF’s elite Egoz commando squad.

It’s a fairly well-known unit, according to Hassan. We’ll see, though. The army will make the decision, and wherever they send me, I’ll give it my all.
The Hebrew Scouts Movement of Israel’s Garin Tzabar organization arranges for the lone troops to be “adopted” by either a kibbutz or a Ra’anana immigrant absorption center.

22 families with a combined 75 children were on board the flight out of JFK Airport in New York, along with 15 single men and women and 17 retirees. Seven doctors and 15 other medical personnel who will be integrating into the Israeli healthcare system were among the 215 people on board.

“It gave me the utmost pleasure to greet these new [immigrants] when they arrived in Israel. It is especially inspiring to see young adults and families with children embrace the Zionist ideal of emigrating, according to Minister of Immigration and Integration Ofir Sofer.

Moshe Arbel, the interior and health minister, and Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, the co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, were among the dignitaries present to greet Israel’s newest citizens.

Every [immigrant] has a different tale to tell, but what unites them is a shared passion for our country, common objectives, and group effort, according to Fass. “It teaches us that diversity exists within unity—that different people and groups can come together through shared values and commitment.”

In the first half of 2023, 29,293 immigrants came to Israel, according to data the Jewish Agency provided in July. The majority of the newcomers, or 80%, were from Russia.

Ginzburg was the oldest immigrant arriving on the aircraft, according to Nefesh B’Nefesh, a nonprofit organization that supports Jewish immigration to Israel from North America and which chartered the jet.

The arrivals area of the airport was crowded with family gatherings, and in some cases, people were dancing merrily in circles as the immigrants hugged their Israeli relatives.


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