It's 4 p.m. "Erev Christmas," and 21-year-old Adam Bodenstein is still rushing around his home in the Pico-Robertson area. He has yet to take a shower before Shabbat comes. In four days time, the Modern Orthodox UC Berkley graduate, who grew up in a Conservative household, will board a flight at New York's JFK Airport that will take him to his new home -- Israel.
But this is no ordinary El Al flight. This is Nefesh B'Nefesh's (NBN) eighth flight (and first-ever winter flight) in three years.
Mariah Edry, sits on a wooden garden swing in the hot Israeli sun, lazily watching her three children on the playground of Beit Canada, a Jerusalem absorption center.
Yochai, one of her 2-year-old twins, chases a gray cat, while his sister, Emunah, climbs the slide ladder, crying for her bottle. Although the temperature has topped a sweltering 100 degrees, Edry, a newly arrived immigrant from North Hollywood, is happy that her children are outside.
Los Angeles resident George Giles, 26, Has been looking for a job in marketing ever since he was laid off five months ago. With the economy continuing to falter following Sept. 11 and a child on the way, George is hoping that his job search will be more fruitful in Israel.