Since the latest Fellowship Freedom Flight that allowed 110 Jews to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel), escaping war-torn Ukraine, we have been bringing you stories of those whose lives were changed for the better. Writing at The Jewish Exponent, Ben Sales details the journey made by two of these olim (immigrants) to their historic homeland:
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Tatyana Orul would have moved to Israel years ago if not for her job as a television journalist in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, which interested her too much to give up.
But when bombs started falling next to her house last year, she reconsidered. The war between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatist forces in the region had also put her husband out of a job. The airport where he worked now lies in ruins.
Last month, at a hotel in the Ukrainian capital, Orul and her husband waited with packed bags for the plane that would take them the next morning to Israel to begin a new life. She would leave behind her newly married son; Orul said Ukrainian law prohibits newly married couples from emigrating.
For Orul, Israel was the only place she and her husband could go.
“My soul is in Israel,” Orul, 55, said through a translator. “It’s a very practical state. It has very warm people. It’s our historic home. I have no home to return to — for now.”
Orul and her husband were two of about 100 Ukrainian Jews brought to Israel on a March 24 flight sponsored by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the charity run by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. Since its launch in December, the organization’s Ukraine operation has brought more than 500 Ukrainian Jews to Israel — four-fifths of them refugees from the East.