Project Spotlight: Helping Ukrainian Olim in Israel

The Fellowship  |  December 1, 2022

Ukrainian olim, refugee, war-torn Ukraine

We continue to help new olim like Julia, a refugee from Ukraine, who made aliyah with her three children in April. Julia tells us that escaping the war by taking a train was one of the scariest moments of her life, “I wasn’t sure we’d be saved,” she said. “The train was moving without turning on the lights, they were afraid to attract the attention of the planes. We rode sitting on the floor, wrapped in warm clothes. The youngest son was always crying with fear and the girls told him not to be afraid, that they would protect him and me.”

Julia had to leave her mom behind in Ukraine. She also had to leave her brother and stepfather there, since they are eligible for military service.

Today, now in Israel, we’ve helped them get settled in the Holy Land and have provided a bunk bed for the children. Julia told us that the children love their new school and already have Israeli friends. The twin girls are excited about celebrating their birthday in Israel for the first time.

During a recent visit, we checked in with the family. Julia said that the children are still traumatized by the war in Ukraine, and since they had to leave their home in Ukraine abruptly, they worry about their cat which was left behind. She also told us that they managed for the first time in six months to talk to one of their neighbors in Ukraine. The neighbor sent them a video of the cat and “the whole family burst into tears,” said Julia.

And as Julia prays that her family left in Ukraine will soon be safe, we are so grateful to Fellowship friends around the world who pray and support the Ukrainian refugees in Israel. Julia has hope as well, saying, “Deep down in my heart, I believe and hope that in the next year my relatives will come to me, hug me, and I and my family will not be separate anymore.”