Meet Regina. Today, she manages The Fellowship’s aliyah program that brings Jews home to Israel from Eastern Europe. But not so very long ago, it was Regina who was a new olim (immigrant) in the Holy Land.
Growing up in Kazakhstan, a Muslim country with a faltering economy, was tough for Regina. But despite her surroundings, Regina had a strong Jewish presence in her life.
“My father was the chairman of the Jewish community in the city during the time of Communism in the USSR when all religions were forbidden,” she remembers, “so most of the religious services took place in our house.”
But when she was 16, Regina made aliyah (immigrated to Israel). Years later, in her position with The Fellowship, Regina returned to her home country for the first time since her teens. “When I got there I felt that I didn’t belong there any more,” she reflects. “My home is in Israel.”
Not only does Regina call Israel home, but so many other Jewish people who escaped hard lives in Eastern Europe are home in the Holy Land. “I established the aliyah initiative in Kazakhstan, which joined the other Eastern European countries in The Fellowship’s aliyah program,” Regina says.
As the coronavirus pandemic has hit the former Soviet Union especially hard, the olim who are still leaving on Fellowship Freedom Flights – from countries such as Belarus, Georgia, and Ukraine – have Regina and YOU to thank for, in her words, “the opportunity to help Jewish people come home to Israel.”