Nefesh B’Nefesh has announced the receipt of a major gift to support the organization’s work in bringing Jews from the West to live in Israel. The donor Guma Aguiar, a philanthropist and founder of Leor Energy, gave $8 million to Nefesh B’Nefesh during the period ending December 31, 2008.
According to Tony Gelbart, Co-Founder and Chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh, “this substantial donation demonstrates how the remarkable commitment of Jews who choose to make Israel their home even in these challenging times, is echoed and fortified by the support of generous individuals like Guma. These vital funds strengthen Israel’s human resources and ensure its future. The gift has already played a major role in helping Nefesh B’Nefesh bring a record number of newcomers to Israel in 2008.”
Aguiar, a board member and Chairman of Finance of the organization, firmly believes in creating facts on the ground and views his commitment to Nefesh B’Nefesh as a vital strategic investment in Israel. “There is no greater priority for the Jewish people or Israel than strengthening immigration (Aliyah) from the US, Canada and the UK” stated Aguiar, who was named “Top Industry Executive of 2008″ by Oil & Gas Investor Magazine,” Our goal of enabling 100,000 individuals to realize their Aliyah dream seems more realistic with every passing day, in light of the 18,000 who have moved to Israel with Nefesh B’Nefesh’s assistance thus far, and another 12,000 already ‘in the pipeline.’ My family is deeply moved to be a part of this incredible historic process.”
Nefesh B’Nefesh has created a new approach to Aliyah and streamlined the entire process since it was founded six years ago to assist Western Jews who choose to move to Israel. The Aguiar funds are being used to help meet the needs of thousands of recent newcomers.
“Our tradition teaches us that when economic times are tough, giving to others for important causes is the most helpful thing to do,” Aguiar added, “It is a profound honor for me to help fulfill what I consider a truly sacred task.”