As a young boy growing up in Russia during the reign of Communism, Daniel did not know that he was Jewish. "My family wasn't religious," Daniel remembers. "The Soviets did a good job of wiping away all outward appearances of Judaism from us."
Later, however, his family began to embrace Judaism. Daniel attributes their newfound observance to a "spark" that resides in the soul of every Jewish person. "No matter how far a Jew gets from his roots," Daniel says, "that spark remains and waits to be kindled."
After the fall of oppressive Communist rule, anti-Semitism in Russia still made it difficult for Daniel to follow Jewish traditions. "I know people who have been beaten up for being Jewish," he says. "It became quite apparent to me that Israel is the only place for a young Jew who wants to grow in his faith."
When Daniel turned 22 he was able to realize his dream of living in the Holy Land thanks to The Fellowship's On Wings Of Eagles program. Wings not only paid for Daniel's aliyah (immigration) but provided him with klitah (resettlement) assistance in the form of food, clothing, housing, and medical care, as well as Hebrew language instruction and job placement assistance.
Daniel is deeply grateful for the opportunity to live in the Holy Land where his faith can flourish and he is no longer subject to anti-Semitism. "I want to thank The Fellowship's On Wings Of Eagles partners for their generosity and their understanding about the importance of Jewish aliyah," he says. "I wouldn't have been able to come to Israel if it weren’t for you!"