2017 Is Summer of Return as 233 'Exiles' Make Way Home

‘Deliver us, Hashem our God, and gather us from among the nations, to acclaim Your holy name, to glory in Your praise.” Psalms 106:47 (The Israel Bible™)

Hundreds of new North American immigrants are set to arrive in Israel next week aboard an El Al Airlines flight chartered by the Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah (immigration to Israel) agency.

Among the 233 new immigrants, 68 will join the IDF after receiving their Israeli citizenship. The future IDF members will be known as “lone soldiers”—those without family members living in Israel. Significant media attention has focused on Israeli lone soldiers in recent years, particularly after two American-born soldiers, Max Steinberg of California and Sean Carmeli of Texas, were killed in the 2014 Gaza war.

Other newcomers aboard next week’s aliyah flight include immigrants from 19 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, 75 children, six sets of twins, and 26 medical professionals.

The aliyah flight will arrive at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport shortly after sunrise Tuesday. The new immigrants will be greeted with a ceremony attended by Israeli government officials as well as representatives from The Jewish Agency for Israel, JNF-USA and the Tzofim Garin Tzabar lone soldiers program, among others.