Rank and File: 500 New Immigrants Celebrate Summer With Nefesh B'Nefesh Picnic

Don't be alone for new year: KeepOlim’s 'No Oleh Alone For Rosh Hashanah' has opened its registration for both hosting and being hosted in six languages

The Nefesh B’Nefesh picnic in Kiryat Motzkin.
Aviva BenHaim

FEEL AT HOME IN JERUSALEM: As the new Jewish year approaches, JIC Jerusalem is holding its end-of-summer BBQ for both new immigrants and native-born Israelis this Monday. JIC – which stands for Jewish International Connection – was founded in New York by South African-born Jodi Samuels and her husband Gavin Samuels in 2000. Creating a home away from home for newcomers to the Big Apple, they brought the concept with them after moving to Israel a decade ago. “Our goals are connecting olim and Israelis; giving olim a home away from home; and helping to make Jerusalem a more exciting city for young professionals to want to stay in,” Jodi Samuels told Haaretz. She noted that 400 people from 27 countries attended the last event for Jerusalem Day, at the First Station. Lone soldiers are invited to join for free. For more info, email info@jicny.com or visit jicny.com.

GO NORTH AND MULTIPLY: Over 500 new immigrants living in northern Israel celebrated the end of the summer at a festive picnic this week, organized by Nefesh B'Nefesh in Kiryat Motzkin’s Park Chai. Many participants only arrived in Israel this past year, according to organizers. “The picnic featured a variety of activities, including a zoo tour, children’s activities and an artists’ fair with works by the olim themselves,” a spokesman told Haaretz. According to Nefesh B’Nefesh, the immigrant-support organization, some 6,000 arrivals from North America have chosen to live in the country’s north – including some 300 in 2018 – as part of NbN’s Go Beyond initiative. “It is extremely heartwarming and inspiring to see how the thousands of olim, young and old, who have chosen to move to the north, are building their lives here, establishing families, integrating into the community and developing the region,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of NbN. 

DON’T BE ALONE FOR NEW YEAR: Rosh Hashanah is traditionally very family oriented in Israel, but many new immigrants and visitors lack those close relatives. That’s why a number of organizations are reaching out with special community meals or arranging hosting for more intimate settings for the two-day holiday that begins Sunday, September 9. KeepOlim’s “No Oleh Alone For Rosh Hashanah” has opened its registration for both hosting and being hosted or to host in six languages: English, Russian, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Hebrew! “We have done this for three years and probably around 1,000 people have been placed for Rosh Hashanah and Passover since we started,” KeepOlim founder LiAmi Lawrence told Haaretz. To register, visit: http://keepolim.org/no-oleh-alone_rosh-hashanah.html. Anyone looking for a community setting can turn to places like the Tel Aviv International Synagogue or Tel Aviv’s Chabad on the Coast. Registration for both can be done via their Facebook pages.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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