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Jewish Immigrants Relieved to be in Israel

ICEJ funding more Aliyah ‘Evacuation Flights’

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Posted on: 
5 Jun 2020
Jewish Immigrants Relieved to be in Israel

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has been at the center of a remarkable wave of Aliyah over recent months despite the Corona travel bans, bringing nearly 900 Jewish immigrants home to Israel since February, including a flight this week with another 41 Russian-speaking Jews. Many are escaping very difficult conditions, and are both thrilled and relieved they have made it to safety in Israel.

The ICEJ’s partners at the Jewish Agency for Israel are referring to the flights coming now as “evacuation flights,” chartered specially by the Israeli government to bring Israeli citizens back home and to welcome new immigrants. No other travelers are allowed on board, because of the current health restrictions both here and abroad.

JAFI is prioritizing those currently coming based on a series of factors, such as urgent health concerns, threats to personal safety due to rising antisemitism, and poor socio-economic conditions. Many of the olim (newcomers) arriving now were planning to come in March or April, and had already sold or left their apartments and quit their jobs, but due to Corona they have been stranded without home or finances.

“Our assistance for these families at this time is crucial, otherwise they would be left in limbo – without a home or income – and dependent on the charity of others in a time of economic crisis” explained Nicole Yoder, ICEJ Vice President for Aid & Aliyah. “Once they land in Israel, we are able to help provide for their basic needs during their first two weeks of quarantine until their government absorption benefits start and they can begin building a new life in the land.”

Belyaev FamilyFor Ekaterina Belyaev and her family, it was the birth of her daughter four years ago that sparked their desire to come home to Israel.

During the Soviet era, she explained, her family had suppressed their Jewish roots. But after her daughter was born in 2016, she started reading books on parenting in Russian and noticed all the best authors on the subject were Jewish. This drove her to start attending Jewish community events in Moscow and to inquire into making aliyah. Her husband was very supportive, and they were scheduled to come to Israel earlier this year. But then they got delayed by the pandemic and have been in limbo.

But now they are here, waiting for the end of their two-week quarantine and eager to start anew in the Jewish homeland.

“In Israel, we want to find ourselves, to work and contribute to society,” Ekaterina said. “We know that our daughter will be happy here, because Israel is a developed society and women can realize themselves in any sphere.”

Another new arrival, David Movsesyan, 34, knew of his family’s Jewish heritage from a young age but he only discovered in 2017 while browsing the InternetDavid Movseyan that he could move to Israel. As he collected documents to prove his Jewishness, he learned the history of his own family and now has photo albums and mementos that will preserve their memories.

“Right now, I’m sitting in quarantine in a hotel,” he said. “But I already feel a deep connection with Israel and I’m starting life anew here. I want to try something new, like a new profession, and I have a lot of dreams.”

David thanked the Jewish Agency and all the Christians who helped him make Aliyah, adding: “For the first time in my life, I feel that the state is taking care of me.”

The Christian Embassy will be sponsoring another aliyah ‘evacuation flight’ next week from the FSU, and we are aware of one particular family of five that needs rescuing from a very dire situation developing in a city well above the Arctic Circle. Connecting flights have already been arranged to bring the father, mother and three small children out of a closed disaster area and all the way to Israel.

With next week’s flight group, the ICEJ will have sponsored aliyah flights for nearly 950 Jewish immigrants to reach Israel during the past three months of the Corona crisis. Yet many more are anxiously awaiting their turn to come, and we need your help to bring them home. The door of Aliyah remains open, and you can make a huge difference in the life of a Jewish family today.

Please support the Aliyah efforts of the ICEJ.
Give today at on.icej.org/aliyah

 

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