In addition, the flight brought 40 future lone soldiers who will join the 3,500 men and women from around the world who are currently serving as part of the FIDF-Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldiers Program. Once they become Israeli citizens, these men and women will be required to enlist in the IDF, as are all Israeli citizens at the age of 18. 80% of the future lone soldiers on today’s flight are part of Tzofim-Garin Tzabar, a Friends of Israel Scouts program, who before and throughout their military service are adopted by Israeli communities that serve as their home away from home. Their absorption period includes ulpan Hebrew studies, educational tours in Israel, introduction to the military structure and the different positions.
“Although I have traveled to Israel many times, it is surreal to finally be landing as an official Israeli citizen,” said Sam Leeman. “Being recognized as Nefesh B’Nefesh’s 75,000th Oleh makes this moment even more meaningful, and I am really looking forward to beginning this new chapter of my life here in Israel as a current medical student at Ben Gurion University’s Medical School for International Health and a future physician in the Israeli medical system.”
“I would like to congratulate the 225 North American Olim who made Aliyah today with Nefesh B’Nefesh,” said Pnina Tamano-Shata, Minister of Aliyah and Integration. “They are joining the other 50,000 Olim from around the world who made Aliyah this year. It is our duty to ensure they experience a swift transition, and we will do everything in our power to make sure their absorption process is as seamless as possible. I also congratulate the terrific organization, Nefesh B’Nefesh, which is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, and wish them continued success in serving new immigrants. The Ministry of Aliyah and Integration hopes to continue its fruitful partnership with them and its shared mission of bringing Olim home.”