Ahead Of Yom Haatzmaut, Israel Welcomes 90 New Olim As 104 Lone Soldiers From Around The World Join The IDF Today
By Mel Fabrikant Wednesday, April 30 2014 @ 03:30 PM EDT
Among the new Olim is Master Chef Israel Finalist Josh Steele
Thirty new Olim from North America arrived today at Ben Gurion airport and 60 others already in Israel became new citizens through Nefesh B’Nefesh, in conjunction with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF-USA. At the same time, at Israel’s Army’s Tel Hashomer base in the country’s central region, 104 Lone Soldier Olim – those who immigrate to Israel without family and enlist – officially became IDF soldiers as part of the Friends of the IDF/ Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldiers Program.
Among the Olim who became citizens today was London native Josh Steele, a finalist from Israel’s Master Chef T.V. cooking competition, who is the show’s first Anglo participant. He and the other 59 new Israeli citizens made Aliyah as part of the Nefesh B’Nefesh Guided Aliyah program.
The 104 Lone Soldiers that enlisted today came from over 20 countries, including Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Italy, India, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan, the U.S., U.K., Ukraine and Venezuela.
“The fulfillment of the Zionistic aspirations of these 194 Olim while Israel gears up for its 66th Independence Day highlights the integral role of Aliyah in strengthening the State of Israel,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “With 90 new Olim, and 104 new young IDF Lone Soldier Olim coming from over 20 countries from around the world, I couldn’t think of a better gift the State of Israel can receive for its 66th birthday.”
The Guided Aliyah program allows citizens of the U.S., Canada, and the UK currently residing in Israel the opportunity to make Aliyah through Israel’s Ministry of the Interior, while receiving the full array of Nefesh B'Nefesh services. These services include assisted government processing, financial aid and post Aliyah assistance.
Attached, please find photos of today’s new Olim.
Photos 1 credit to: Jared Bernstein Photography / Courtesy of Nefesh B’Nefesh
Photo 3 credit to: Courtesy of Nefesh B’Nefesh
About Nefesh B’Nefesh:
Founded in 2002, Nefesh B’Nefesh in cooperation with the Israeli government and The Jewish Agency for Israel, is dedicated to revitalizing Aliyah from North America and the UK by removing or minimizing the financial, professional, logistical and social obstacles of Aliyah. The support and comprehensive social services provided by Nefesh B'Nefesh to its 38,000 newcomers, has ensured that 97% of its Olim have remained in Israel. www.nbn.org.il