As immigrants and public officials celebrated Aliya Day at the Knesset on Tuesday, 49 new immigrants from the US and Canada arrived in Israel, three days ahead of the national holiday.
The olim (immigrants) arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday morning on a Nefesh B’Nefesh group aliya flight in cooperation with the Aliya and Integration Ministry, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael- Jewish National Fund and JNF-USA.
The immigrants hail from 13 US states and two Canadian provinces and work in a range of professions, including engineers and physicians, future soldiers, and aspiring actors. They headed to various cities throughout Israel to begin their new lives.
Aliya Day acknowledges immigration as a core value of the country and celebrates the contributions of olim to society. It was celebrated as a national holiday for the first time last year, following a law passed by the Knesset last June instituting the holiday on the seventh of the Hebrew month of Heshvan, coinciding with the reading of the Torah portion in which Abraham is told to leave his home to go to the promised land.
“Yom Ha’aliyah recognizes the incredible contributions that olim have made towards shaping Israeli culture and society,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, the organization responsible for facilitating the aliya of over 50,000 North American and British Jews to Israel in over a decade.
“It is particularly inspiring to welcome today’s group flight as the country recognizes the influence all olim have on our country,” Fass said.