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Saturday, August 30, 2014

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Four Canadian families join ‘Children’s Aliyah Flight’

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The Meshwork family at JFK Airport in New York City as they get ready to make aliyah to Israel with Nefesh B’Nefesh. [Shahar Azran photo]

Nefesh B’Nefesh’s first-ever “Children’s Aliyah Flight” took off last week for Israel with 231 North American olim. Among them were 41 families and a record number of 106 children (56 girls 50 boys).

Among the olim making aliyah was the Sheffield family from Ottawa. Arthur  Sheffield, 60, and his wife Gittel, 64, are moving to Ramat Beit Shemesh. The Bouskila family, from Montreal, including Salomon Bouskila, 56, his wife Yvonne, 47, along with their children, Moshe, 9, Hila, 15, and Yael, 17 are moving to Ashdod. Also moving to Ashdod is the Meshwork family from Thornhill, Ont.: Jason Meshwork, 38, Allison Brown, 35, and their children Levi, 8, Roman, 6, Ivy, 3, and Moses, 1.

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to make aliyah to join part of our family already in Israel, and to live in the land of our people,” said Arthur and Gittel.

“It is an opportunity of a lifetime that we have the merit to enjoy the retirement years of our lives.”

Close to 1,000 children from the United States and Canada are expected to make aliyah to Israel in 2013 with Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organization that facilitates aliyah from North America and Britain.

This is an increase of 20 per cent compared to 2012, when 822 children made aliyah.

This flight was facilitated in co-operation with Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Jewish National Fund.

Nefesh B’Nefesh is celebrating its 11th anniversary this summer, marking more than a decade since its inaugural charter aliyah flight in 2002.

“As we welcome our 35,000th oleh, it is exciting to see so many children amongst the Zionistic modern day pioneers who are helping to build and secure the future of the State of Israel”, said Tony Gelbart co-founder and chair of Nefesh B’Nefesh. 

“This new generation is joining young adults volunteering for the IDF and olim moving to Israel’s north and south to help strengthen the periphery, to infuse the country with renewed passion and idealism.”

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