To Israel With Love

Nefesh B’Nefesh makes aliyah sweeter than ever

Simone Ellin

Nefesh B’Nefesh wants you to move to Israel.

The Israeli organization is committed to helping American Jews make aliyah as easily as possible. In order to do so, NBN provides assistance with employment, government advocacy, financial aid and more.

The organization is courting young American Jews on their home turf — social media sites — by sponsoring an online contest for engaged couples and newlyweds planning to make aliyah. Contest winners can win valuable prizes to help them launch their lives in Israel.

“We’re always trying to find new ways to reach out to Americans about aliyah and to involve them in learning about Israel,” says Yael Katsman, director of marketing and communications for Nefesh B’Nefesh.

“In 2013, social media is the means to do that. It’s a fun, dynamic way to connect with the contestants themselves — people for whom aliyah is already in the pipeline — as well as the family and friends who are cheering them on.”

To participate in the Wedding Gift Challenge, contestants create profiles that tell the stories of how they met and why they want to live in Israel. By sharing their profiles on Twitter and Facebook, each couple collects votes from friends and family. The couple to collect the greatest number of votes is eligible to win prizes that range from a $50 gift certificate to $10,000. The Wedding Gift Challenge runs through June 30.

Dina Lustiger and Ilan Davidovics, an engaged couple from Teaneck, N.J., and Englewood, N.J., currently have more than 3,000 votes. They met about a year ago at a Yeshiva University-sponsored pro-Israel event called Kumzitz4Israel.

“Both of us are musicians and we were the two main guitarists there,” recalls Davidovics. “There was some chemistry, so I got her name and asked her out the next day.”

“After that we went out every day for the next two months,” says Lustiger. “The next year when the Kumzitz came around, Ilan gave a speech about Israel, and as part of the speech, he proposed. I kind of knew it was coming, but it was still really, really exciting. After he proposed, it became like an engagement party.

Lustiger and Davidovics plan to marry on July 17 and expect to leave for Israel on Aug. 12. They both say they have always dreamed of living and raising a family in Israel.

“We love the sense of camaraderie. The moment you step off the plane you feel like everyone is your family. It’s a beautiful culture, and we want to be part of it,” Lustiger says.
There’s still time to enter NBN’s Wedding Gift Challenge. To learn more or to cast a vote, visit thisismyisrael.com.

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