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Friday, December 31, 2004

Photo Friday (Vol. IX)

Well it's that time again... and unfortunately I have a small confession to make.  I've been traveling around the country on business this week, so I've been a bit lazy with the camera.  There are still a bunch of requests I have yet to fill (although new requests are always welcome)...  I've taken 2-out-of-3 pictures for several of them... but I don't yet have all three pictures for any of the remaining requests.

Also, several of you have asked for similar or overlapping pictures, so I may have to e-mail you to ask you to submit alternative picture requests.

So, where does that leave us?

That leaves us with pictures of my choosing (although not of my taking)... related to a timely topic.

This week another planeload of North American Olim (immigrants) landed in Israel, making 2004 the highest American Aliyah year since 1983!.  The flight was organized by Nefesh B'Nefesh, the same organization that organized the flight on which we immigrated.  I'm here to tell you that the excitement of being on a flight filled with other people who are also moving to Israel is indescribable, and the arrival ceremony (IMHO) is like something out of a fairytale.

Take my advice... if you are ever offered the opportunity to experience the 'red carpet treatment' when arriving in a country, I suggest you give it a try. 

By 'red carpet treatment', I mean walking down the boarding stairs to the strains of a military band to be met by a head of state and the opposition leader.  Then walking through a military honor guard, while being followed by news photographers and video crews.  Then going into a hanger festooned with welcome banners and colorful bunting.  Inside the hanger a huge crowd of well-wishers joins you as you listen to members of both the government and opposition make speeches thanking you for making the decision to come.

That is what I mean by 'The red carpet treatment'... and, yeah, it was pretty neat.   Seriously, you should try it.  ;-)

I've been wanting play 'show and tell' with these pictures* of when we arrived for some time now:

This first one is of the VIPs (and their body guards) waiting at the bottom of the boarding stairs.  Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (in the dark blue suit) and Opposition Leader / Former Prime Minister Shimon Peres (in the lighter blue suit) were the first people to shake our hands and say 'welcome home' (I can't remember who the woman between them is).

Arrival_1

After being greeted by the dignitaries we walked across the tarmac through an honor guard of soldiers.
Arrival2
That's me in the light blue oxford (big surprise there, huh?)... Zahava is is in the white blouse and black knapsack.... Ariella is between us wearing the red shirt and Gilad is to my left in a peach colored shirt.
Arrival

This last one really has nothing to do with us (since Yonah was born here in Israel), but I loved the picture.  Many of the soldiers helped families by carrying babies and extra baggage.  This little toddler has no idea how good he has it!  :-)  [note: the different colored berets signify the specific army unit to which the soldiers belong]

Arrival3

Anyway, as 2004 draws to a close, I am pleased and proud that immigration from North America is on the rise.  For those who make a big deal over watching the world's odometer turn over, I'd like to wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous Happy New Year.  Zahava and I don't usually make a big fuss, but I may have a sip of bubbly to toast this week's arrivals.

Shabbat Shalom!

*All pictures are from the Nefesh B'Nefesh web site

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Posted by David Bogner on December 31, 2004 | Permalink

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Oh no, now you've done it. Your post represents the first time in my entire life that I have had a glimmer of a desire to make Aliyah. Just don't tell Doctor Bean

Posted by: Ball-and-chain | Dec 31, 2004 2:30:18 AM

Oh, oh! This is very funny. My lovely wife (she picked the nickname ball-and-chain, not me) is at home and I'm at work, and THIS is how I find out that my wife has pangs of making Aliyah. David: if we're living down the block from you in two years, I blame you!

Have a nice Shabbat and a happy 2005. We'll be asleep at probably about 10:30 on New Year's Eve.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Dec 31, 2004 3:36:09 AM

The woman you did not identify is Colette Avital, who also spoke at the gathering. If anyone wants to get a taste of this absolutely incredible experience, and lives in Israel, just contact nefeshbnefesh (www.nefeshbnefesh.org) and find out when you can come to the airport and be a part of the next greeting ceremony.

Posted by: yonah | Dec 31, 2004 9:59:12 AM

Ball and Chain (you picked that nickname???)... Yeah, like he isn't going to see it here. :-)

Dr. Bean... What a surprise to see you here!!! I guess you and the Mrs. have similar surfing habits. :-) Just mention how little docotrs make in Israel and how much of that salary goes to taxes... that should put the kabosh on things. :-)

Yonah... Of course one of the neatest things that I failed to mention in today's post was having another family with whom we've been friendly for ages (yours) making aliyah on the same flight as us!!! I still smile when I think about how our life paths have converged so many times and on so many levels.

Oh, and thanks for reminding me about Ms. Avital... I couldn't come up with her name for anything last night.

Posted by: David | Dec 31, 2004 10:10:11 AM

...you mean this could be my chance to meet Shimon Perez in person? Excuse me, I've got to convince someone here.

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Dec 31, 2004 5:26:02 PM

Unreal..

Posted by: Hatshepsut | Dec 31, 2004 5:46:44 PM

That jet is a very big jet. Well, Jumbo Jets are some of the biggest jets in the world.

Posted by: Joshua B | Dec 31, 2004 6:57:48 PM

Hatshepsut... yup, that pretty much sums up the experience.

Joshua... I'll bet you are going to come to Israel on a plane very much like this one. Try to remember as many things about it as possible (what color it is, how big it is, how many engines it has, etc.) so you can tell me all about it when I see you. Ok?

Posted by: David | Jan 1, 2005 6:08:45 PM

The woman between Olmert and Peres is MK Colette Avital - she is the Chair of the Aliyah, Absorption and Diaspora Committee at the Knesset.

Shavua Tov,

Gilly

Posted by: gilly | Jan 1, 2005 11:25:27 PM

So cool!

Posted by: Alice | Jan 2, 2005 4:53:28 PM

David,
I have no idea what to say. The pics are beautiful. The Efrex's and I discussed Aliyah tonite. We are coming!

Posted by: Faye | Jan 3, 2005 4:32:46 AM

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