Immigrants From Around The World Join The IDF

— by Rebecca Modell

Thirty new newcomers to Israel from North America arrived last week 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 the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Tel Hashomer base in the country’s central region, 104 “lone soldiers” — 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.

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Among those who became citizens was London native Josh Steele, a finalist from Israel’s “Master Chef” TV cooking competition, who was 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 came from more than 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.

Nefesh B’Nefesh’s founder and executive director, Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, said, “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.”

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.

Celebrity Chef Jamie Geller to make Aliyah to Israel

Celebrity chef Jamie Geller, referred to by many as the ‘Kosher Rachel Ray, is making Aliyah to Israel next month with Nefesh B’Nefesh on the organization’s August 13th charter flight out of JFK airport, in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and the Jewish Agency for Israel.  Jamie Geller was born in Philadelphia, and is a graduate of the former Akiba Hebrew Academy (currently the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy).  

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Nefesh B’Nefesh is teaming up with USA TV producer, best-selling author, and cooking celebrity to produce a self-documentary series following her, and her family’s exciting and emotional journey step-by-step as they make Aliyah to Israel next month. The series will feature individual episodes offering a behind-the-scenes look at the Geller family as they pack their belongings, say goodbye to family and friends, and depart on the special Aliyah charter flight. It will also feature the tear-jerking landing of the flight as they arrive in Israel with hundreds of fellow Olim (new immigrants) and document their first few weeks as new Israeli citizens.

Jamie Geller is the founder of Kosher Media Network (KMN), a 360-degree content provider and the first multi-platform network for the kosher market combining traditional media (magazines, books, and broadcast) with the latest in digital, online, and social media. In the spring of 2011, KMN, unveiled its Joy of Kosher consumer brand, with the simultaneous launch of JoyofKosher.com – the first and #1 social networking community for the kosher foodie – and the highly successful magazine, Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller.

She has been nationally acclaimed for her bestselling kosher cookbooks, her kosher cooking TV shows, and has been a featured interviewee on ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS News Radio, Martha Stewart Living Radio, The New York Times, New York Daily News, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, and hundreds of other print publications.

Episodes can be watched at: www.nbn.org.il/joyofaliyah