Aliyah program expands

Friday, March 23, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

The special aliyah (immigration to Israel) procedures of the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization, who cuts through bureaucracy and offers a support network for new immigrants from North America and Britain, will no longer be limited only to special charter flights twice a year.

The organization has added to its group flights 50 to 100 pre-booked seats each month on regular flights on Israeli airline El Al. Up till now, groups came on the charter flights and were processed at the airport by relevant government officials, while individuals who came throughout the year underwent the regular - and often confusing and difficult - aliyah processing in the various government ministries.

“This makes things more efficient both for the olim (new immigrants) and for us,” explained NBN director of communications Yael Katsman.

The first group to come on the regular flights landed on Wednesday afternoon, and was met at the airport with NBN representatives and officials from the Interior and Immigrant Absorption ministries. Using a database that is shared by the Interior Ministry and NBN, the olim were processed, registered as olim and given citizenship - right in the airport.

The group flights also offer those individuals who come on regular flights year-round the support network of a joint aliya. “There’s the feeling of a group experience,” said Katsman, “which makes it more memorable and exciting.”

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