July 27, 2018
I just spent 2 days in Israel and here’s why.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to have been invited on the Nefesh B’Nefesh July charter flight. Founded in 2002, the mission of Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN) is to make the Aliyah (moving to Israel) process easier, facilitate the integration of new Olim (people who have moved to Israel) into Israeli society and to educate the Jews of the Diaspora as to the centrality of Israel to the Jewish People. By removing professional, logistical and financial obstacles, and sharing the Aliyah story of Olim actively building the State of Israel, NBN encourages others to actualize their Aliyah dreams. NBN is dedicated to making each Oleh, and every Aliyah, a success.
Here are some photo’s from the trip.
As I waited on line at security, I thought I had recognized the person in front of me.
Sure enough, it was United States senator, Joe Lieberman. Although today, he was just another supportive parent among the crowd, wishing farewell to his daughter and her family as they started their new journey.
Once everyone completed the check-in process, we headed downstairs for a farewell ceremony. At this point everyone had checked their bags and were beginning to mingle with the other Olim. So I did just that.
The first Oleh I met had 4 legs and fur.
There were so many young families like this one. Often families create custom T-shirts as sort of a home team uniform. The recipe is typically: Family name, Israel text/flag and often, if we are really lucky, a clever pun. I spotted this adorable group and had to stop them for a quick photo op. Here’s our pun straight out of Kansas, group tee reads: ‘There’s no place like home” on the front and a yellow brick road map on the back capturing the stops the family has made along the way. (I love that the New York stopover made the map!)
Now boarding, one stuffed panda!
This stack of passports belongs to one family.
That’s our plane!
As I boarded, I couldn’t help but notice a very special piece of luggage.
Click here to read the story behind this suitcase.
Seated in front of me was an in-flight taping for the Nachum Segal Network.
Click here to play the broadcast.
Check it out and click here for my chat with Nachum Segal about Nefesh B’Nefesh. (Yup, that’s me!)
Had time for a brief Telfie (Tefillin Selfie) or two…
As we prepared for landing, I looked out the window and saw something incredible. Family and friends typically greet the new arrival inside the terminal but for the first time they were waiting outside on the tarmac cheering and waving Israeli flags. I have never seen anything like this.
Here come the new Israeli’s!
Press play, this was such a moment!
View this post on Instagram
Welcome Home ✈️🇮🇱 This isn’t just an ordinary flight to Israel, this is a @nefeshbnefesh chartered EL AL plane exclusively booked with 232 new Israeli’s!! That’s 34 families, 127 children, 18 singles, 3 sets of twins, 6 future IDF soldiers and (I personally counted) 3 pets, all moving to Israel today! For the first time, family and friends were waiting right there on the runway to greet the new residents. Mazal Tov and welcome home! #aliyahitsyourmove 🌎 Tel Aviv, Israel 📰 Everyone Has A Story, What's Yours? 📧 firstname.lastname@example.org 📱 www.humansofjudaism.com #⃣ #humansofjudaism
That’s a wrap.