January 5, 2009

Despite war: 250 new olim arrive in Israel

Some 250 new olim have landed in Israel this week, undeterred by the raging war in the south.

The immigrants came from the United States, Canada and Britain in a joint operation of Nefeshe B'Nefesh and the Jewish Agency. The olim arrived in Israel on four separate flights on Monday and Wednesday.

Tzeira Creditor, 24, from Virginia, who made aliyah on Monday to Jerusalem, said: "I decided to make aliyah before the war and the situation did not change anything. My parents were very supportive of my aliyah, they are worried but understand that this is important to me.

"My parents were in Israel in '73 and volunteered in a bakery in Jerusalem to replace the soldiers that were called up- my mom baked the bread and my dad brought it to the soldiers in the front lines. Aliyah has always been my parents' dream and I hope both my parents and siblings will follow suit and make aliyah in the next few years."

Amir Katz, 26, from Massachusetts, arrived in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. "Professionally and economically speaking a lot of people in the US had a hard time understanding my decision to make aliyah, but I feel that aliyah is a decision you make with your heart more than with your mind.

"The wars and the balagan make day-to-day life in Israel very hard, but there is something special about living here. The values and qualities that the Israeli life styleoffer make me feel like a better person- there is more community consciousness here, you are more a piece of the larger picture."

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