Dov and Adena Goldman of Bergenfield and their children, Shayna, Leora, and Atara; Esther Steinhart of Elizabeth, and Susan and James Deyo of Passaic all were on Nefesh B’Nefesh’s 41st and final aliyah flight of 2020. They are joining more than 3,000 olim who made aliyah from North America in 2020; 2,625 of them have moved to Israel since the covid-19 pandemic hit.
Nefesh B’Nefesh, in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, and Jewish National Fund-USA, has assisted in the aliyah process for over 65,000 olim since its inception.
“From the earliest days of the Jewish state, no matter how trying or difficult the circumstances, aliyah has always continued in order to preserve what was once a distant dream for our parents and grandparents,” Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, said. “As we look back at the challenges everyone faced in 2020, we are extremely proud of what we have accomplished together. We look forward to watching each Oleh grow and build their new lives in Israel, and eagerly look ahead to 2021, a year with the potential to exceed all expectations in Aliyah.”
The top 10 cities in Israel that new olim chose as their homes this year were Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beit Shemesh, Ra’anana, Haifa, Herzliya, Netanya, Modiin, and Be’er Sheva. Olim most commonly worked as educators, physicians, nurses, social workers, and lawyers, as well as in the fields of marketing, sales, and business. The average age of an oleh this year is 30; the oldest is 97 and the youngest only 35 days old.
In addition, when the pandemic began in March, NBN pivoted its programming and transitioned into holding virtual meetings, webinars, and informational sessions.