NEW YORK — Some 1,500 Jewish New Yorkers and Israelis showed up to the Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah Mega Event in Times Square on Sunday.
Young Jews at the Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah Mega Event in Times Square on Sunday – Photo: Shahar Azran
The fair, organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh in collaboration with the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Fund, and the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, was one of seven taking place in major cities across North America.
Fairgoers received detailed information and one-on-one counseling about moving to Israel.
Fair organizers made a special effort to promote Nefesh B’Nefesh and JNF’s Go South and Go North programs, which focus on developing the peripheral areas of Israel.
Jews and Israelis from the New York area were able to meet with representatives from various municipalities, as well as those from the secondary and post-secondary education system and MATI, the Business Development Center.
Among the fair participants were 20-year-old Karin Lazrovich and her father Adi, who live in New Jersey. Lazrovich, who was born in the United States, moved to Israel to serve in the Israel Defense Forces, but returned to the U.S. to study. She is planning to make aliyah this summer.
“My heart is attached to Israel,” Lazrovich said. “I connected with Israel, I love the mentality, and I see my future there.” Her father added that, “Karin leaving is difficult for my wife, but we will visit her in Israel, and my parents live in Raanana, so they will help her in the absorption process.”
Several families preparing to move to Israel showed up to the fair to plan their future there. Young people from various backgrounds also attended the fair, including Kyla Barton, a 24-year-old African American woman who proudly wears a Star of David pendant. “My grandfather from my mother’s side is the rabbi for a congregation in New York,” she said.
Karin Lazrovich and her father Adi. Lazrovich is planning to make aliyah this summer – Photo: Shahar Azran
“I was in Israel with Taglit [Birthright Israel], and it was an eye-opening experience that made me want to move to Israel,” Barton added. “I was moved by Israel and I saw this beautiful country, the clean air and the special people. I know the Jewish prayers by heart thanks to my grandfather, but I still do not speak Hebrew. I am planning to study at university and then to start a family.”
The other six aliyah fairs took place in Toronto, Montreal, Florida, Baltimore, Chicago and Los Angeles. They included seminars, workshops, and personal meetings on topics including employment, housing and mortgages, financial planning, taxes, pensions, choosing a community, the healthcare system, education and the aliyah process.
More than 38,000 Jews have already moved to Israel through Nefesh B’Nefesh. Erez Halfon, the organization’s vice chairman, told the crowd at the fair that, “This year, the fairs emphasized providing detailed information about making aliyah to the Negev and the Galilee. From the point of view of our organization, this is actually doubled and compounded Zionism.”
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=16039