Talia Friedman, daughter of the US Ambassador to Israel, was among the 233 North Americans who immigrated to Israel today with Nefesh B’Nefesh. Her father, David Friedman, welcomed her upon her arrival in Tel Aviv: “We’re so proud of our daughter Talia. She always wanted to live in Israel, and she’s realizing her dream.”

David and Tammy Friedman welcome daughter Talia to Israel

David and Tammy Friedman welcome daughter Talia to Israel Photo Credit: Miriam Alster, Flash90

Talia Friedman, one of the US Ambassador to Israel’s five children, has immigrated to Israel. Talia, 23, is a nurse who lived and worked in New York City before deciding to make aliyah. Her parents, David and Tammy Friedman, greeted her at the airport in Tel Aviv.

“Our whole family is very proud of her,” Friedman said to reporters at Ben Gurion Airport. “We’re here just to greet her and give her a hug and wish her behatzlah raba (a lot of success) here in Israel.”

Though it is unclear whether Talia plans on living in Jerusalem or elsewhere in the country, she intends to continue working as a nurse in Israel. “She will hopefully bring refua (health) to people who need here in Israel,” her father added. Talia is joined by 25 other medical professionals also making the move to Israel from North America.

US Ambassador David Friedman embraces daughter on the tarmac

US Ambassador David Friedman embraces daughter on the tarmac Photo Credit: Miriam Alster, Flash90

Friedman arrived on an aliyah charter flight with Nefesh B’Nefesh- a Jewish organization founded in 2002 that, in conjunction with the Jewish Agency, encourages and facilitates the aliyah and integration of new immigrants into Israeli society. Among the new arrivals were 21 families, 75 children and 99 other Jewish singles from North America- 68 of whom will be joining the IDF and serving as lone soldiers. Before the flight left for Tel Aviv from New York’s JFK Airport, the soon-to-be-Israeli citizens joined together to sing the Hatikva, Israel’s national anthem.

Welcoming the new immigrants upon their arrival were MK Yair Lapid, Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, Chairman and Co-founder of Nefesh B’Nefesh Tony Gelbart and Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat. Lapid spoke at the welcoming ceremony and said: “In most countries, immigrants are met by stern immigration officers looking for a reason to reject them. Israel welcomes you happily. We look at you today and we say ‘We need you.’…Without you our family is incomplete…Welcome Back. Welcome home.”

David Friedman, an Orthodox Jew from Long Island, New York, with close personal ties to the State of Israel, was confirmed as US Ambassador to Israel by the Senate on February 16. His nomination was opposed by several left-wing Jewish organizations that protested his support for settlement expansion and disapproval of a two-state solution in the region.