Ben-Gurion Airport was the setting for an unusual scene late Tuesday night, as seven young Chinese men wearing kippot arrived via Uzbekistan to make aliya.There are 1,000 descendants of the Kaifeng Jewry and about 1/2 of the commnity would make Aliya if they had the chance.
The newcomers, who were brought here by the Shavei Israel organization, are all descendants of the Jewish community of Kaifeng, China, which flourished on the southern banks of the Yellow River for more than 1,000 years.
It marked the first time that an organized group has moved here from Kaifeng.
"I am very excited to be here in the Holy Land," said Yaakov Wang, one of the new immigrants. "This is something that my ancestors dreamed about for generations, and now, thank God, I have finally made it."
Wang said he eventually hoped to become a rabbi, so that one day he could help other Kaifeng Jewish descendants to learn more about their heritage.
Wang and the other young men will spend their first few months in the country learning Hebrew at an ulpan on a religious kibbutz in the North, after which they will prepare to undergo conversion.
From the airport, the group went straight to the Western Wall, where they recited the "Shehehiyanu" blessing with great emotion, and then burst into a chorus of traditional Hebrew songs.
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Welcome Brothers. May this adventure bring you success in life.