Israel-bound chartered plane takes 230 Jews from JFK home to resettle in the Holy Land
Some 230 people said their final farewell to the Big Apple as they boarded a plane at Kennedy Airport Tuesday to begin their new life in Israel.
“They say it's hard, but it's definitely worth it,” said Avraham Dergel, 18, of Spring Valley, N.Y. “I fell in love with the place, it's beautiful.”
He is one of the approximately 4,000 Jews expected to move to Israel from the U.S. and Canada in 2016, according to Nefesh B'Nefesh, an organization that helps emigrants resettle in Israel.
Danielle Stadtmaier, 34, is moving with her husband and 3 young children from New Jersey
"It's a big deal for our kids, when the kids read the Bible, they can visit those places," she said. "They'll learn that their forefathers walked in these places."
Marc Barsano, 20, of Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn plans to spend his first three months on a kibbutz and then join the Israeli Defense Forces.
He's not alone.
There are an estimated 75 others from the group who plan to become so-called Lone Soldiers.
The El Al Boeing 777 chartered flight included people from 22 states and one Canadian province. Among those leaving were 24 families, 78 children and 10 medical professionals, according to Nefesh B'Nefesh.