Project Spotlight: Klitah

The Fellowship  |  July 27, 2022

Gerardo and Barbara standing next to each other in a kitchen.
(Photo: Courtesy of family)

Making aliyah (immigrating to Israel) is a dream in the hearts of Jewish people around the world. Today, Jews need Israel now more than ever – as many still face daily anti-Semitism, economic hardship, and conflict. However, klitah (resettlement) is also an important step…

Moving to a new country is not an easy process. Many worry how they will survive in a different culture – knowing they will be arriving without a job or even a place to live. And the poorest Jews who wish to relocate cannot even afford a ticket to Israel, let alone relocation costs.

This is why, in addition to Fellowship Freedom Flights, we also help new immigrants with their klitah needs as well. The Fellowship, in cooperation with local Israeli authorities, makes initial living arrangements for the olim (immigrants) who come home on Fellowship Freedom Fights, and we provide them with financial assistance.

We make sure the individual and their families have the resources and financial aid necessary to begin a new and successful life in Israel. This means that every single new olim can contact a Fellowship volunteer and ask questions, seek guidance, and call in case of any emergencies.

The neediest and poorest Jews living in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Latin America, many of whom have suffered from war or anti-Semitism, will finally have the support they need to begin new lives in the Holy Land thanks to you.

‘They Treated Us Like Family’

Gerardo and Barbara remember their humble beginnings when they first made aliyah with The Fellowship from Argentina. Gerardo couldn’t even afford beds for his two children — 6 and 11 years old — when they first arrived.

Today, the couple are successful business owners of an Argentinian restaurant in Israel. And their story goes to show that with a lot of determination and a little help from The Fellowship, new olim can make a big impact in the Holy Land.

They originally planned to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel) in 2019, but with the COVID-19 pandemic and other obstacles, they had to postpone it until later in 2020. “With huge support from The Fellowship, we arrived in a very complicated time and settled in a kibbutz, where we studied Hebrew quite intensively,” Gerardo says.

Eventually, the family moved from the kibbutz to northern Israel once their Hebrew course was finished, and they searched for employment. Gerardo found a job as a salesman at a sporting goods store while Barbara started working as a scriptwriter in English. “When our incomes were not enough, The Fellowship was there for us. We got to furnish our home thanks to their support, including beds for our children, and we will never forget how quick Fellowship staff was to answer our every question,” Gerardo remembers. “We had their cell phone numbers and they treated us like family.”

Today, they are restaurant owners with a 5-star rating on Google. We love the fact that we are exposing people to a whole new side of our native country’s culture that they’ve never heard about,” they say. And the family knows this was all possible thanks to Fellowship friends around the world who provided help with klitah!