Within hours of the announcement in Vienna of the worrisome Iranian nuclear agreement, 221 olim from North America — including 24 from the New York area — landed at Ben Gurion Airport in an emotional scene that was livestreamed worldwide.
Twenty-nine-year-old Kaley Zeitouni of Los Angeles was one of several olim who joyfully kissed the ground after disembarking in Eretz Yisroel.
The olim onboard the El Al flight from JFK in New York hailed from 14 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and four Canadian provences. Ninety-five children were part of 32 families making aliyah, along with 53 singles, 12 of whom will be joining the Israel Defense Forces. Forty-six of the olim were moving to Israel’s periphery as part of the “Go North and Go South” programs of Nefesh B’Nefesh and Keren Kayemeth L’Israel.
The oldest passenger on Tuesday’s flight was Sue Friedman, 90, of the Bronx.
Long Islanders making aliyah on this week’s flight included Far Rockaway residents Michael Lamm, 28, his wife, Rochel, 28, their son, Binyamin, 4, and newborn, Shay, and Elissa Nechemia, 26; Lawrence residents Mark Alon, 40, his wife Yosseffa, 37, and their children, Ellyitah, 8, Tehilah, 6, Hillel, 4, and Segulah, 2; West Hempstead resident Benny Lang, 33; and Zachary Krischer, 22, from Port Jefferson Station.
Other New York area olim included Ezra Barry, 23, from Brooklyn; Amy Leidner, 23, from Spring Valley; Karlie Keisler, 20, from Clifton Park; Aaron Sull, 27, his wife, Tali, 30, and their children, Sarah, 6, Ella, 3, and Akiva, 1, from Buffalo; Caleb Leibowitz, 23, from White Palins; and Eitan Selter, 23, from Wesley Hills.