South American Olim Find New Lives in Israel

The Fellowship  |  August 2, 2022

South America olim from Brazil
(Photo: IFCJ)

Isn’t it wonderful to see biblical prophecy fulfilled, today, before our very eyes? And isn’t it wonderful to be a part of not only changing lives, but saving them? Well, that’s exactly what The Fellowship’s faithful friends allow us to do each time we bring a Jewish person or family home to Israel “from the four corners of the earth.” And our good friends at JNS tell about the latest lives you’ve helped change – 84 new South American olim (immigrants) who have found new homes in the Holy Land:

Israel’s diverse immigrant population gained a further boost last week with the arrival of 84 new immigrants from seven different countries across South America.

The flights and arrangements were made possible by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) with the new arrivals coming from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay and Peru.

“Particularly with the many challenges that our world faces, including financial and logistical obstacles that can make aliyah to Israel much more difficult, it is very meaningful to be able to witness people from all over the world make this life-changing move,” said Yael Eckstein, president of IFCJ. “We feel privileged to be able to play our part in facilitating the growth of aliyah from Latin America and look forward to helping even more people come home to Israel and wish them all a quick, successful and meaningful acclimation.”

For Pedro Guinzberg, 21, who grew up in a small Jewish community in the Argentinian city of Bahía Blanca, the choice to make Israel his home came out of a love for his people and country. “I made the decision because I feel that as a Jew, I have to live in Israel,” he says, reflecting on the connection with the country he made during his time on a Zionist program in 2020. “I am not looking for better economic conditions or because I want to find a better job, but because I feel a connection to the country that I have never felt in Argentina.”

For others, like Ariel Kessler, 40, and his wife, Barbra Bernstein, 39, who lived in Asunción, Paraguay, the motivation came out of the belief that life in Israel would offer them and their four children opportunities that they could never have in South America.

“We made the decision a little over a month ago because we want our children to experience a full Jewish life. It is not possible for us in Paraguay to keep kosher, observe Shabbat in the community or ensure that they get to meet a Jewish partner in the future to start a family,” explains Bernstein. “In Israel, they will be able to grow up proud of their Judaism…”