The Fellowship continues to help Ukraine’s Jews make aliyah (immigrate to Israel) as their nation’s war rages on. But The Jerusalem Post’s Sam Sokol reports that while those able to leave Ukraine are grateful, others still remain:
It’s 1:30 a.m.
I am standing outside my hotel in Kiev watching just over 100 Jews load into buses for the ride to Boryspil International Airport where they will board planes to take them to Israel. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews flew me here to witness this moment, the second flight of its Ukrainian aliya program. The first, landed in Tel Aviv in December carrying more than 200 souls.
It’s dark on the bus with the streetlights outside tending to cast a sinister pall over the people sitting inside, but the atmosphere is as jubilant as it’s possible to be at such an hour. Leaning forward, his pitted and scarred face wreathed in shadow, one immigrant grinned widely.
His happy expression cut through the midnight gloom, an apt visual representation of both the joy and sadness of leaving behind one’s home.
Many of the immigrants expressed happiness to be coming to Israel and to escape the horrors of eastern Ukraine with a number saying that they had been thinking about such a move even before the war.
Alex, the scarred young man, said he “didn’t know” why he didn’t make aliya before, but he was happy to go with his father now as his mother and younger brother had already gone several months before.