Nefesh B'Nefesh Promotes Aliyah
by Staff Reporter
A new organization was established in the USA in order to promote aliyah from North America to Israel. So you don't need the Jewish Agency any more.
It is the brainchild of Tony B. Gelbart, a wealthy businessman, and Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, executive director (a graduate of Yeshiva University). The main office is in Boca Raton, FL (Toll free: (866) 4-aliyah, online: www.nefeshbnefesh.org).
The following is the mission of this organization: "The mission of Nefesh B'Nefesh - Jewish Souls United, is to revitalize North American Aliyah and to expand it for generations to come by removing the financial, professional, and bureaucratic logistical obstacles that are preventing many 'would-be' Olim from fulfilling their dream. In the process, we hope to send an unmistakable signal of North American-Israeli Jewish solidarity and joint determination to strengthen the State of Israel."
The organization has a special committee to screen candidates. It will provide olim with financial support: "All financial assistance provided to each aliyah candidate will be vested after a three year period upon arrival to Israel. If the candidate emigrates from Israel within this time, the candidate will be obligated to return the financial assistance (loan) to Nefesh B'Nefesh."
The idea is to bring more professionals to Israel. The following leaders in Israel expressed support for this initiative: Moshe Katsav, Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu, Natan Sharansky, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, and Ehud Olmert. It is not clear why Salai Meridor, Jewish Agency's Chairman, did not express his support for this idea of revitalization of the aliyah.
Toby B. Gelbart, 45, is co-founder of Nefesh B'Nefesh and President and CEO of CPM Worldwide Group, an investment company based in Boca Raton, Florida with holdings in both the U.S. and Israel.
Mr. Gelbart, the son of Jewish immigrants to the U.S., grew up committed to Jewish and Zionistic causes and later founded many Jewish and Israeli activist groups assisting in U.S., Soviet and Ethiopian Jewry. While attending Bernard Baruch College of the City University of New York, Mr. Gelbart was an active advisor and participant in groups such as Herut, SSSJ, B'nai Brith, Hillel and the ADL. During his college years, Mr. Gelbart also spent a significant portion of time in Israel attending Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
After graduating Bernard Baruch with a business degree in International Trade, Mr. Gelbart became a commodities trader, which took him to various parts of the world including Israel. In 1982, Mr. Gelbart became President and CEO of T&M Agro Group, a New York based company, which imported perishable foodstuffs from Israel. T&M also worked with many Israeli agricultural businesses such as Netafim, Plastro G'vat, Hazera Seed Company and Kibbutz Dolav/Dvir.
In 1989 Mr. Gelbart founded and served as President and CEO of Carewell Industries, an oral care products company, until its sale to Playtex in 1997. Tony has built a solid reputation for his innovative approaches to marketing, brand building and sales. Under his leadership, Carewell's Dentax™ brand was the fastest growing brand of toothbrushes in the United States in 1995 and 1996.
As President and CEO of Paper Partners, a company Mr. Gelbart started in 1991, he launched White Cloud™ brand bathroom tissue in 1999. This year White Cloud sales in various categories, including bathroom tissue, diapers and baby wipes should exceed $300 million.
Since founding CPM Worldwide Group in 1995, Mr. Gelbart and his company have been very active in seeking out, and investing in, Israeli companies and ideas. He has always recognized the unique talents and products Israeli businesses and citizens have to offer worldwide markets. Currently, CPM Worldwide Group is in the process of bringing to the U.S. markets Israeli businesses such as Opti-Clip International, Samson Lift Technologies, Osem Cakes and others.
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