Many new olim in Israel gather together for a festive picnic organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh at Park Chai in Kiryat Motzkin. Photo credit: Aviva BenHaim

More than 500 new olim living in northern Israel celebrated the end of the summer at a festive picnic this week, organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh at Park Chai in Kiryat Motzkin. Among the participants were new olim, many of whom just arrived in Israel this past year. These new olim all made aliyah from North America with the assistance of Nefesh B’Nefesh and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, in cooperation with the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and JNF-USA. The picnic featured a variety of activities including a zoo tour, children’s activities, and an artists’ fair with works by the olim themselves.

To date, 6,000 new olim from North America have chosen to live in Israel’s northern towns and cities, including Nahariya, Katzrin, Tzfat, Mitzpe Netufa, and Misgav. Since the beginning of 2018, more than 300 olim have left the United States and Canada and decided to settle in the north, thanks to the “Go Beyond” initiative. The joint program between Nefesh B’Nefesh and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL) was created to strengthen the periphery of the State of Israel by leveraging the existing momentum of aliyah from North America and increasing the number of olim to the north and south of the country, as well as to the capital.

Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, said, “Almost a decade ago, we took upon ourselves as an organization the mission to contribute to developing Israel’s north and the south through aliyah with the help of our partners. It is extremely heartwarming and inspiring to see how the thousands of olim, young and old, who have chosen to move to the north, are building their lives here, establishing families, integrating into the community, and developing the region.”

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