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Venezuelan Jews Flee to Israel

Venezuelan Freedom Flight, 2017 (Photo: IFCJ)

The Fellowship and our faithful supporters continue to provide Freedom Flights to Jews around the world looking to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel). Ynet News' Ilana Messika reports on Venezuelan Jews, who, with the help of The Fellowship, are fleeing anti-Semitism, a failing economy, and food shortages to find a new life in the Holy Land:

Avraham Ben Gigi, a young 23-year old from Venezuela, never thought much about immigrating to Israel. Born to an Israeli father, Ben Gigi grew up in San Antonio de Los Altos, a suburb of Caracas, as part of the only Jewish family in town with no real way to keep Jewish traditions. He moved to Israel a few months ago and is celebrating his first Independence Day as an Israeli citizen.

“I had originally not thought about coming to Israel,” Ben Gigi told Tazpit Press Service (TPS)...

There are about approximately 1,500 immigrants from Venezuela in Israel today, some 80 of them having arrived over the last year. Since the beginning of 2017, a total of 42 Venezuelans immigrated to Israel with the help of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), which helps Jews move to Israel from all over the world.

Asked whether his family would like to join him, Ben-Gigi said that all Venezuelan Jews would leave the country if they could, but he added that the cost of relocation make it difficult...

“Stories like Avraham Ben Gigi’s reflect the current disastrous situation going on in Venezuela today,” IFCJ President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein told TPS. “It is our mission to do all we can every day to help the Jewish community get out of Venezuela and arrive safely in Israel. But this is a dangerous and hard task, both for our organization and for the Jews leaving their life and family behind.”

“On the occasion of Independence Day of 2017, we are proud to say that we have brought 42 new immigrants to Israel from Venezuela since the beginning of this year with more to come, new immigrants who can finally celebrate their independence in Israel,” declared Eckstein.

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