A member of The Fellowship’s staff visited several families in Ukraine ahead of our most recent Freedom Flight that brought 90 Ukrainian Jewish refugees to Israel earlier today. Here, she shares the story of one of the families aboard this life-changing flight:
Irina, 32, has experienced a lot of hardship in her life. When she was young, her parents divorced and she lost contact with her father. She now has a family of her own, but her husband recently passed away. She is seven months pregnant, and will have to care for her newborn baby all on her own, in addition to her 12-year-old son.
Irina has spent all of her life in Kiev, Ukraine, but she never truly felt like she belonged there. She felt like she always stuck out because she is Jewish, and she was uncomfortable openly practicing her religion.
Recently, Irina’s father reconnected with her, and she learned that he made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) six months ago. Irina knew this was her chance to give her children a better life. She learned about The Fellowship’s Freedom Flights that bring Jews to Israel from war-torn Ukraine, and she eagerly signed up. She had nothing to pack besides a few clothes – she truly will be starting fresh in the Holy Land.
Now, Irina is very optimistic about her future. She and her son will initially live with her father until they get on their feet. Her baby will be born an Israeli. She could not keep the smile off her face as she talked about the promising future ahead for her children in the Holy Land!