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Record breaking 106 youth immigrants arrive to Israel from New York along with Gilad Shalit

By Mason White 2:49 PM July 23, 2013
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By: Debbie Gross
(Scroll down for video) In a record-breaking event, more than 100 children immigrated to Israel from the United States along with former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

El Al flight LY3004 landed this morning at Ben Gurion Airport with 231 new Israeli citizens on board, including the record number of children.

Even before they took off, passengers knew not to expect too much sleep because nearly fifty percent of the occupants were children, a new record for a Nefesh B’Nefesh “aliyah” flight. The Jewish Agency for Israel was also involved in preparing the flight.

The 106 young immigrants are joining a whopping 989 children, who will make “aliyah” throughout 2013 with Nefesh B’Nefesh in cooperation with the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Jewish National Fund. The 989 youth immigrants are an increase of twenty percent compared with 822 children, who made “aliyah” in 2012.

In anticipation of the arrival, Nefesh B’Nefesh made arrangements to help the parents of the children. They also helped keep the children occupied during the long flight and throughout the arrival ceremony. Among the activities, the children received “aliyah” coloring books, games and custom-made shirts.

Former captive Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, also joined the flight as a show of support and appreciation to the thousands of Israeli immigrants from the U.S., who are fulfilling their dream of returning to Israel.