A mother and daughter from Ukraine arrive at Ben Gurion airport last week courtesy of International Fellowship of Christians and Jews..
(photo credit: IFCJ)
As the summer aliyah season was ending last week and the school year was about to begin, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews brought 400 new immigrants from Ukraine to Israel.
The olim came to Israel to escape economic hardship and the ongoing violence of the Ukrainian civil war.
Andrei Tatarchenko, 46, of Sumy, a city in northeast Ukraine, said, “The conflict affected my life. Some of my comrades were killed on the front lines defending Ukraine, and some of them were seriously injured.”
Despite the challenges these immigrants faced in Ukraine, 37 of the new arrivals decided to live near the Gaza Strip, an area that has seen a recent flare-up in missile attacks and violence. Two families are now living right next to the Gaza border in kibbutzim of the Eshkol Regional Council.
The immigrants arrived on two separate flights as part of the some 1,000 new immigrants from eight countries who arrived with help from the organization.
Among the immigrants were 93 children who are expected to begin school in Israel next week. Some of the immigrants said the promise of seeing their children attend Israeli schools played a major factor in their decision to move to Israel.
“We are excited to see a record number of immigrants coming to Israel from all over the world this summer,” IFCJ founder and president Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, said.
“It’s incredibly moving to see the children and their families so excited about starting school in Israel, and I call on the Israeli public to welcome the immigrants with open arms. Every child, man and woman who arrives here expands our horizons of hope and dreams for our Jewish future.”
Since 2014, the fellowship’s independent aliya programs have brought more than 14,500 immigrants to Israel from 26 countries where Jews are facing rising antisemitism, are threatened by terrorism or are suffering economic hardship.