The month of Elul, which precedes Tishrei and the High Holy Days, is accompanied by a shofar blast in many synagogues during morning services.
Some new Israelis got a personal concert on Monday.
Adam Mayer-Deutsch, above left, part of a delegation of 235 Jews from North America who made aliyah under the auspices of the Jewish Agency and the Nefesh B’Nefesh program, blew the shofar as part of a welcoming ceremony on the Ben Gurion Airport tarmac.
Next to him, carrying a Torah scroll, is Israel Hammer. The group of new olim included an 84-year-old woman and 91 young men and women planning to enter study programs or the army.
“You came from a wonderful country but you have come to the most wonderful country in the world,” said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, below left, who joined the welcoming ceremony and distributed immigrant cards. With him are émigrés Robin Zebrowitz and Gidon Silverstein. “The olim are the answer to any threat.”
Veteran Israelis, right, awaited their friends and relatives at the airport.