Faces of The Fellowship: Maria

The Fellowship  |  June 16, 2021

Maria Izailevskaya, an elderly Jewish woman in glasses going through family photographs.
Maria Izailevskaya made aliyah from Ukraine on February 26, 2021, elderly woman with family photographs, photo album, looking down, red glasses, black and orange sweatshirt, sad

Maria is leaving her home in Ukraine. She’s making aliyah (immigrating to Israel) with the help of faithful Fellowship friends and a Fellowship Freedom Flight.

Living in Ukraine is the only life she’s ever known. But Maria has nothing except hope in her heart and trust in God that making aliyah is the right next step. Maria will finally live in the Jewish homeland where she will be free to celebrate her Jewish faith thanks to The Fellowship.

This flight is especially meaningful. Maria, whose family suffered in the Holocaust, grew up listening to the fearful stories and family history passed down, a history full of pain and hardship, simply for being Jewish.

Maria’s great-grandparents perished in the infamous Babi Yar massacre in 1941. And her grandparents lived in fear that someone would discover their Jewish identity. They couldn’t even talk about their parents who they lost because they worried someone would discover their Jewish identity. “Our grandparents didn’t speak much about our relatives who perished,” Maria explains. “Of course, with our family name we couldn’t hide that we are Jews and we indeed suffered from it.”

Now, years later, Maria will finally know what if feels like to live in a country that honors her faith. And she is full of gratitude: “The Fellowship has a special flight reserved for us, so I am thankful.”

Even during the pandemic, a Fellowship Freedom Flight will still be able to take her home to the Holy Land where she will reunite with her daughter Lyubov, who also made aliyah with The Fellowship. And this dear woman will always know it was thanks to you that she was able to return to her true home.

Learn how you can fight anti-Semitism today with The Fellowship.