Westchester Resident Makes Aliyah to Israel on Charter Flight

Galia Wechsler, a 22-year-old from White Plains was one of 215 Olim (new immigrants) from the U.S. and Canada who moved to Israel and made Aliyah in August on Nefesh B’Nefesh’s 64th specially chartered ELAL flight. The flight was facilitated in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah & Integration, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel (KKL), and Jewish National Fund-USA.

The charter flight was comprised of 22 families with 75 children amongst them, 15 single men and women, and 17 retirees. The youngest Oleh on the flight was 4 months old, and the oldest Oleh was 77 years old. Also onboard the flight were 7 doctors and 15 health professionals who will be integrating into the Israeli medical system. 27 Olim on the flight are part of the Nefesh B’Nefesh-KKL Go Beyond initiative, which is aimed at developing Israel’s peripheral regions and Jerusalem. 

Last summer, a pilot initiative to further streamline the Aliyah processing was offered to a handful of Olim when representatives of Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah & Integration and the Population and Immigration Authority handed out Teudot Oleh (immigration certificates) while onboard. For the first time, this opportunity was extended to all the passengers on this year’s charter. While still on the flight, Olim filled out relevant forms and each Olim was handed their Teudot, finalizing their Aliyah processing.

“Each and every Oleh carries with them a unique story, yet what bonds them together is a unified love for our homeland, shared goals, and collective action,” said Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. “It teaches us that diversity exists within unity – that shared values and commitment can bind different individuals and groups together. Watching each of these Olim walk onto the tarmac and witness their elation as they take their initial steps in their new homes is both inspiring and moving. We are honored to continue to be a part of the next chapter in each of their Aliyah journeys.”