Yesterday The Jerusalem Post ran a lovely article by Dmitry Apartsev, mayor of Katzrin, Israel, a city filled with many olim (immigrants) – including the mayor himself. We so appreciate his kind words and his thoughtful efforts to welcome the Ukrainian Jews The Fellowship just moved to Israel.
Tonight, I will pick up the phone and call a family of new immigrants that arrived in Israel this morning on the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews’ (known here as the “Keren LeYedidut”) third “Fellowship Flight” from Ukraine.
They join four other families who recently came to northern Israel on a prior aliyah flight organized by IFCJ’s head, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.
I will tell them a bit about myself, my background, and the wonderful place they have come to live in. With a full heart, I will tell them that the people in charge of aliyah and absorption in our local council are incredibly skilled and experienced professionals. I will promise them that tomorrow when they open their eyes and see how beautiful it is here, they will feel even better about their brave decision to move to Israel.
In my eyes, the aliyah of Jews to their historic homeland continues to be a national mission of the greatest importance. This simple and basic idea – to bring as many Jews as possible to their homeland – remains as relevant as ever, and it is our responsibility to do right by them and do right by the State of Israel and the people who live there.
In order to continue to realize this complex dream, we need the help of organizations like the Keren LeYedidut, whose activities around the world and in Israel have filled an important chapter in the history of aliyah and absorption in Israel for the past four decades. People who continue with all their might to believe in this beautiful dream and are willing to deal with its complexities are treasured friends.