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July 19, 2002 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-07-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Why Buy Your Vehicle at

Cover Story

MARTY FELDMAN CHEVROLET?
1.0% Financing*
2. Rebates up to $3,750*
3. Get out of your GMAC
lease early withotit owing
the remaining payments**
4. Open Saturdays 10-4

RETURNING TO ZION

from page 15

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**lease must expire by February 2003

0% Financing is Available on

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An Ethiopian a capella ensemble entertains the newcomers with two high-energy songs.

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GENERAL

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& FAMILY

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SALES HOURS: Mon-Thurs 8:30-9:00, Tues, Wed, Fri 8:30-6:00
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"MOST DEPENDABLE, LONGEST LASTING TRUCK ON THE ROAD"

* 36 mo. lease. 12,000 per year. Plus tax. title and plates with approved credit.
Net of all rebates and incentives to dealer. All lease prices include Chevrolet Lease Loyalty. Sale ends 7/31/02.
**GMS net of rebates. =Subject to excessive wear and tear and over mileage charge. See dealer for details.

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2002

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In the Bloomfield
Avenue Shoppes

Maple Rd.

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similar to the one that arrived last
week. But this particular flight carried
the largest group of new immigrants
from Canada and the United States in
25 years. Later this -summer, another
150 immigrants are due to arrive, and
some 400 families are signed up for
next year.
The excitement generated by Nefesh
B'Nefesh stems not only from the
impressive number of new immigrants
who have signed on with the program,
but also from a feeling that its
founders have discovered a formula for
rejuvenating the historically sluggish
aliyah from North America, the conti-
nent with the world's largest diaspora
Jewish population.
Working together with the Jewish
Agency for Israel (JAFI) and Israel's
Absorption Ministry, Nefesh B'Nefesh
grants one-time payments of $5,000 to
$25,000 to each new arrival or family,
provided they remain in the country
for at least three years. Funding comes
from private donors. This first group
was funded almost entirely by a $2
million grant from the International
Fellowship of Christian and Jews.
According to JAFI, immigration
from North America typically has
averaged about 2,000 per year, with a
high of just over 8,000 in 1971. But
the Nefesh flight has pushed this year's
total to 1,000, with additional Jews
making aliya to come.
"I thought it would require much
more," said Nefesh B'Nefesh co-
founder Rabbi Joshua Fass, who him-
self made aliyah last week with his
wife and their three children. "We dis-
covered that just the relocating expens-
es were a barrier, that people didn't
want to use up their entire nest egg."
In addition to the grants, Nefesh
B'Nefesh assists with alleviating other
obstacles to immigration, such as find-

ing housing and jobs. And, said Rabbi
Fass, by coming over as a group, the
program also helps diminish feelings
of loneliness. "It helps people feel
they're not doing something abnormal,
but something heroic."
Rabbi Fass said he hopes to bring a
planeload to Israel every three months
and looks forward to the time when
there will be no fanfare accompanying
the arrival of his groups, because it will
have become a frequent occurrence.
In his address during the welcoming
ceremony, Rabbi Fass said Israelis should
view these new immigrants as "a pas-
sionate and palpable expression of soli-
darity. We come from over 20 states as a
common people, with a common goal,
to share our lives with yours," he said.
Rabbi Fass' partner, Florida business-
man Tony Gelbart, told the crowd at
Ben-Gurion: "The world must know
that no amount of pressure and no
amount of terror will ever keep Jews
from choosing Israel as their homeland."
On his second day as an Israeli citi-
zen, Moshe Fisher paid a visit to the
Absorption Ministry, where he waited
three hours for a clerk to help change
his status from child returnee to new
immigrant. That's an important dis-
tinction for determining what govern-
ment benefits the family will receive.
Moshe succeeded in the end, but not
without having to endure a frustrating,
yet typical, new immigrant experience.
"I'm usually a pretty strong guy, but
I almost cried,". he said. "Everyone has
to sacrifice something to be here. I
hope that was it."
Nessia Fisher said that since she
_
arrived, she has felt calm and content
with her decision.
"I walk through the streets of
Jerusalem and I feel a tremendous
sense of peace," she said. "This is
where we belong." ❑

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