450 NEW UKRAINIAN IMMIGRANTS ARRIVE IN ISRAEL, IN GROWING CHRISTIAN-FUNDED GLOBAL RESCUE EFFORT
TEL AVIV, Israel, July 27, 2017 – The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews spearheaded an influx of 450 new immigrants from Ukraine to Israel this week, part of its growing global rescue operation bringing endangered Jews from 26 countries to their Jewish homeland.
The Ukrainian olim (immigrants) arrived in a complex operation involving five flights from their war-torn country, with planes coming from Dnepropetrovsk, Kiev, and Odessa.
“Despite the difficult situation in Israel, immigrants are coming in droves,” said The Fellowship’s Founder and President, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. “The idea that 450 new immigrants came in one week from one country – this is a new record for us and we are humbled. This proves the Zionist dream is alive and kicking.”
The Fellowship expects to bring more than 3,900 new immigrants to Israel by the High Holy Days, and another 5,000 by year’s end. The immigrants are arriving from 26 countries where The Fellowship is growing increasingly active in aliyah, and in many of these countries The Fellowship is often the main force bringing Jews to Israel.
Jewish communities in these countries face a series of threats, including rising anti-Semitism, assimilation, economic hardship, and conflict. They include Azerbaijan; Belgium; Brazil; Belarus; France; Georgia; Latvia; Moldova; Russia; Spain; Uruguay; Venezuela; and other countries that cannot be made public due to security concerns.
Since The Fellowship began running its own aliyah operations at the end of 2014, it has brought more than 8,900 Jews to Israel. Last year, The Fellowship took in more than 4,100 olim -- two and one-half times the number it brought in 2015, the first full year it led its own aliyah campaigns. The Fellowship has been active in aliyah for 25 years, however, partnering with other organizations initially, including the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh.
“We were given the privilege of contributing to the strength and robustness of the state of Israel, and we will continue to do so tirelessly,” Eckstein said.
The Fellowship’s work for new immigrants to Israel does not begin and end at Ben-Gurion Airport. In addition to providing pre-aliyah seminars in immigrants’ native countries, The Fellowship provides financial aid, counseling, and other support for olim to help them absorb into Israeli life, including grants of $800 per adult and $400 per child.
None of the aliyah and absorption efforts could happen, however, without the generous donations and support of Christians throughout the United States and worldwide who love Israel. Since its founding in 1983, The Fellowship has helped millions of Jews in need in Israel and around the world through aliyah, social service projects helping Israel’s most vulnerable, support for Lone Soldiers defending the Jewish state, and more.
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