Last week we told you about IFCJ's latest Freedom Flight that brought 116 Ukrainian Jews to the Holy Land. Today, Arutz Sheva reports on two sisters who escaped a brutal life of anti-Semitism when they made aliyah (immigrated to Israel):
Among those making aliyah were two teenage sisters who were badly beaten in brutal anti-Semitic attacks.
Marina and Alexandra, aged 17 and 15, respectively, moved with their family several years ago from the Ukrainian capital Kiev to the small suburb of Rakytne. But the ongoing war between Russian forces and Ukrainian nationalists – which flared this week with nationalist attacks on Russian banks – revived longtime strains of anti-Semitism that hit the girls particularly hard.
In the past year, both girls were severely beaten three times by classmates, suffering concussions and necessitating hospital visits where they required stitches for their wounds. Their only 'crime': they spoke in Russian and not Ukrainian, and they were “Zhids” – Jews.
Their father – who recalled suffering similar beatings 40 years ago when Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union, said: “Even my daughters’ teacher joined in the cursing and name-calling. They called my girls ‘separatists’ and other ugly names for Jews.”
“We came to Israel so that our children can be given the opportunity to live with dignity.”
Their mother added: “If we tried to take these kids and their teacher to court, it would have only made things worse. Those in charge would have fired my husband from his job and my kids would have been left to starve. When my sister mentioned The Fellowship’s Aliyah flights to Israel, I knew it was time to go.”