MEDIA ADVISORY 18 October 2004 For Immediate Release
National Campaign Set for New Jersey
Launch This Week
NEFESH B'NEFESH SHIFTS FROM PROCESSING TO PROMOTION
( JERUSALEM )- Six American Jews now living in Israel will return to their native New Jersey this week to launch a new, coast-to-coast “Aliyah Ambassadors” program for Nefesh B'Nefesh ( www.nefeshbnefesh.org ).
In conjunction with the worldwide Jewish Agency sponsored Shabbat Aliyah, the inaugural event for the NBN Aliyah Ambassadors Program takes place October 22-24 in the Teaneck/Bergenfield area. The central public program for the kick-off will be a tri-state “Focus Aliyah” event on Sunday, October 24, 2004 at Congregation Bnai Yeshurin, Teaneck , NJ from 9:45 AM .
The spokespeople, representing a wide range of professional and socio-economic backgrounds, will bring their personal experiences to their native community, along with the message that “Aliyah from North America is alive and growing.”
As part of their message, the spokespeople will present the Mayor of Englewood – Mr. Michael Wildes - with a gift from the Mayor of Jerusalem , to symbolize the partnership, brotherhood, and good feeling for the dual citizens of both those cities.
“ Aliyah ,” Hebrew for “going up” is the term used to refer to those who return to the Jewish homeland in Israel . Nefesh B'Nefesh, acting in close cooperation with the Jewish Agency for Israel , assisted more than 1,500 North American Jews to move to Israel in July-August, 2004 alone. Over the past two years, approximately 3,000 have made the momentous journey with Nefesh B'Nefesh, turning life-long dreams into reality.
This week's mission marks a major milestone for Nefesh B'Nefesh, which until now has served primarily as a facilitating channel for the newcomers. Heading into 2005, NBN will now begin conducting significant promotional work amongst wider circles of North American Jews.
“Our message is clear,” said Rabbi Joshua Fass, NBN Executive Director, “Aliya is a realistic, practical possibility that tens of thousands of former North American Jews have already successfully chosen, a decision that many of them consider to be one of the most important of their lives.”
Fass added that New Jersey might proportionately be the “aliyah capital” of North America . Teaneck, in particular, has yielded numbers of new olim far in excess to the size of the local Jewish community. Some 220 of this year's 1500 olim came from New Jersey .
The former New Jersey residents will return to their previous neighborhoods to speak to many synagogues, meetings and information sessions about their experiences and day-to-day life in Israel today.
About Nefesh B'Nefesh:
In the less than three years since its founding by Tony Gelbart and Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Nefesh B'Nefesh has taken giant strides towards achieving its stated goal of revitalizing North American aliya (immigration to Israel).
By removing or minimizing the financial, professional, logistical and social obstacles that such newcomers face, Nefesh B'Nefesh has not only increased the numbers of olim , but also eased their successful absorption into Israel .
Ruder Finn Israel
Israel Cell: 972-54 467-6979
Ruder Finn Israel
Israel Cell: (054) 467-6961
Paid for by Friends of Michael J. Wildes, Claudia Colbert, Treasurer