Get out the lollipops: Nefesh B’Nefesh reports that Monday’s El Al Flight #3004 had more children aboard than any previous group flight.
The 106 American children on an El Al flight that arrived Monday July 22nd has broken a record for the largest number of youngsters moving to Israel on a single flight, says Yael Katsman, spokeswoman for the Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organization that helps thousands of Jewish immigrants make Israel their home.
The children who arrived, the youngest of whom is two months old, are among a total of 2,500 North American immigrants moving to Israel this summer. Also on the flight are 13 olim who have signed up to join the Israel Defense Forces.
With this flight, Nefesh B’Nefesh has welcomed the thirty-five thousandth oleh whom the organization has helped make Aliyah.
With so many children on board, Nefesh B’Nefesh made special arrangements to keep the youngsters happy and occupied. In both the JFK and Ben-Gurion airports, Nefesh B’Nefesh arranged for clowns, balloon blowers, and other entertainers. On the flight, Nefesh B’Nefesh gave the children coloring books and engaged them in a variety of special activities. The arrival ceremony is included Gilad Shalit, Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver, MK Dov Lipman, and Chairman of the Jewish Agency Nathan Sharansky.
There are also plans in place to ease the children’s adjustment to their new lives in Israel, Katsman adds. “We work together with students entering the school system here to provide them with educational and Hebrew support,” she says. The children will also receive online tutoring services to help with their Hebrew studies and other subjects.
Additionally, 41 Jewish immigrants who arrived on the El Al group flight are moving to peripheral regions in Israel, as part of the Nefesh B’Nefesh Go North and Go South programs. These initiatives are designed to encourage Jewish immigration to Israel’s frontier areas in order to aid their development. “We started our Go North Program and Go South Program to help ease acclimation as much as possible,” Katsman explained, adding that regional coordinators help with employment and a range of social services.
On board the flight that has made history, were new immigrants bound for Be’ersheva, Afula, Akko, Haifa, Nahariyya, Omer, Sderot, Yavne, Jerusalem, Maale Adumim, Hadera, and Ramat Bet Shemesh, among other locations throughout Israel. Join us in wishing them a “Yishuv Tov” – an easy and fulfilling acclimation to the Land of Israel!
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By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United With Israel
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