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A 98-year-old Australian Jewish woman makes Aliyah

Days before Israel's 75th, a 98-year-old Australian Jewish woman makes Aliyah

"I've been a Zionist all my life," Ruth Tarlo said, as she made history making Aliyah at 98 years old.

By Zvika Klein, April 20, 2023

A 98-year-old Jewish Australian woman got off the airplane on a wheelchair and has become an Israeli citizen on Wednesday. The Aliyah and Integration Ministry said that she is known to be the second oldest Olah (immigrant) to Israel in its almost 75 years, The Jerusalem Post has learned. Ruth Tarlo, born in 1925 in Great Britain, has officially become an Israeli citizen just days before Israel's 75th Independence Day next week. Tarlo was 23 when the Israel was established. She is a widow and followed two out of three of her children how made Aliyah years ago. Two of her daughters are Israeli and 4 out of 6 grandchildren also live in Israel. Tarlo also has 11 great-grandchildren, living in Australia and in Israel. Ruth Tarlo's path to the holy land Tarlo grew up in Ireland and according to officials in the Aliyah Ministry, she was very involved in the organizational Jewish life in this small community. "When they moved to Australia, she and her husband were among the founders of the community and the synagogue," the officials explained. "At her advanced age she decided to immigrate to Israel to be close to her daughters who live in Herzliya and Tel Aviv. She is very up-to-date with what's going on in the world and Israeli news." According to the ministry officials, Tarlo immigrated from Australia with a connection in Dubai, despite her advanced age. Tarlo said that "I have two daughters that live in Israel so I thought at my age, which is rather old, I would join them in Israel and see what it was like to live next to them." She emphasized that "I of course love being an Australian citizen, but if I can settle here, I'll be fine being with my family in Israel." She added that "I've been a Zionist all my life." She asked to thank the Ben Gurion department of the Aliyah and Integration Ministry at the airport and said "thank you very much for my reception here at the Aliyah office. They have been very kind to me." Tarlo concluded optimistically: "Congratulations [to Israel] on Independence Day." In 2012, a 100-year-old Jew from Brazil became Israel's oldest Oleh. Moises Lederman, a retired businessman from Brazil, told Ynet 11 years ago that his favorite part of life in Israel is Shabbat. "It gives off a feeling of sanctity and tranquility," he said, "In Brazil, Saturday feels just like any other day." Director General of the Aliyah and Integration Ministry Adv. Avichai Kahana told the Post on Wednesday that "Ruth's story is inspiring; I'm glad she decided to come and join us in order to celebrate the 75th Independence Day of the State of Israel, here, her homeland." Kahana added that "Ruth is a symbol of the love of the land which proves that Zionism resides in our hearts at any age, from anywhere in the world." He asked to thank the dedicated employees of the ministry "who help each and every immigrant with an infinite sense of mission. I have no doubt that even in this case they will do everything in their power to help her integrate into Israeli society in an optimal way.''

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