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Faces of The Fellowship: Igor

Faces of The Fellowship: Igor Igor and his family arrive at Ben Gurion Airport (photo: Olivier Fitoussi)

When the hostilities in Donetsk, Ukraine, started, Igor’s wife, Anna, was pregnant. The couple lived close to the Donetsk airport, which has been the site of a lot of violence during the conflict in the region. Because it is a strategic location, the battle for control of this site took several months and caused dozens of casualties. Early on in the fighting, Igor and Anna decided that they could not stay in the city.

First they went to Berdiansk, a city in the neighboring region. They would go to Donetsk from time to time to check on their apartment and to see if the hostilities had ended. But they raged on. The couple changed cities a few more times before finally settling in Sloviansk, which wasn’t far from Igor’s job as a lawyer and where Anna was going to school and could continue her studies.

When Anna finished her university studies, the couple decided to move again – this time to Israel.

“Almost all of our property had been damaged,” Igor recalls. “The shed and garage we had in Donetsk burned down in a fire. Our flat was partly damaged. It was situated not far from the fighting. It was quite difficult to live there. You couldn’t renovate the flat – it was almost impossible to bring building materials there.”

Almost nothing remained for them in Ukraine. Instead, they started to think about Israel, the land of their ancestors. They wanted to live near the sea and in a place that was affordable. The city of Rishon LeZion was a perfect fit.

Igor is full of enthusiasm to continue his law practice in Israel. Anna, a child pathologist, was going to work with children in Donetsk, but the war interfered with this plan. She hopes she can finish classes in Israel and begin to work in her field.

“I spent almost six years working to buy a new flat and a new car in Donetsk. Now I have nothing,” Igor says. “I can’t sell it – the prices constantly change. But there is a whole new country where we can start from over from scratch.”

The couple was so excited to return to their true homeland on a Fellowship Freedom Flight and were grateful for all the help during the aliyah (immigration to Israel) process. They received all the necessary information from The Fellowship to make the transition smooth. They are so grateful for that help and for the material support The Fellowship provides. All of this assistance is helping them adapt quickly and become full, productive citizens of their spiritual homeland.

Learn how you can help more Jewish people make aliyah on future Fellowship Freedom Flights.

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