Almost half of the Nefesh B’Nefesh flight carrying 330 new immigrants from North America are eager to serve in IDF combat units.
New immigrants were greeted at the airport by a host of Israeli dignitaries, including Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar.
A charter plane dubbed the “soldiers’ flight” touched down in Israel on Tuesday morning, bringing 125 young American Jews ready to don uniforms and join the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces.
The flight, carrying a total of 330 new immigrants from North America, included 63 men and 62 women aged 18 to 22 who will soon be inducted into the armed forces, most of them slated for combat.
Awaiting the new olim at the airport were a long line of Israeli dignitaries, including Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, Head of the IDF Personnel Directorate Maj. Gen. Orna Barbivai, and a host of government officials.
The flight was sponsored by Nefesh B’Nefesh, the nonprofit organization that promotes, encourages and facilitates Jewish immigration to Israel from North America and the United Kingdom, in conjunction with Israel’s Immigration Absorption Ministry.
Most of the male potential soldiers said they wanted to serve in elite combat units such as Duvdevan, Sayeret Matkal and Shayetet 13, while the young women expressed interest in serving in Oketz (the IDF’s canine unit), or becoming medics or shooting instructors.
The new soldiers will be classified as “lone soldiers,” who, by virtue of having little or no family in Israel, are entitled to a number of benefits during their service. Of the 2,800 lone soldiers now in Israel, about 900 hail from North America, 1,015 are from Russian-speaking countries, 250 are from France and 200 are from Latin America.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=11321