On Saturday, the seventh night of Hanukkah, The Fellowship Menorah was lit in the city of Bat Yam, Israel. The event focused on The Fellowship's aliyah (immigration to Israel) program and our work with new olim (immigrants).
The event was held at Bat Yam Beit HaOleh (Immigrant House), where after-school, enrichment, and cultural activities for olim from the former Soviet Union take place, and was attended by olim who have moved to Israel on Fellowship Freedom Flights. Bat Yam Mayor Yossi Bachar, Israeli parliament members Sofa Landver and Yoel Razvozov, and olim children lit The Fellowship Menorah.
When Mayor Bachar addressed the crowd, he said, "I want to thank The Fellowship for everything you do in the area of aliyah and everything else you do in Israel."Knesset (Israeli parliament) member Razvozov said, "Hanukkah is a holiday when miracles occurred, and the great miracle is the work that The Fellowship does.”
The Fellowship’s Jeff Kaye shared, “As you know, Hanukkah is a holiday that tells the story of bravery. We're all sitting here because of the bravery of one man that I want to tell you about. This is Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, who is the president and founder of The Fellowship. It's because of him that the entire staff had the opportunity to bring you to Israel.”
Kaye then shared the story of when Rabbi Eckstein flew to Ukraine a year and a half ago to see the situation for the Jewish community there in the midst of the country’s unrest. As Kaye remembers, “He came back to Israel and said, ‘I won't be able to sleep until every one of the people I met there has the opportunity to come to Israel.’”
Thanks to his efforts and our donors’ generosity, in the past year The Fellowship has moved 2,200 olim to Israel. Of those immigrants, 178 have settled in the city of Bat Yam.