Jewish Agency emissaries to return to Ukraine, says acting chairman

Acting Chairman Yaakov Hagoel said: "We estimate that instead of hundreds making Aliyah every week, thousands will be immigrating to Israel every week in the near future."

Yaakov Hagoel-Chairman of the executive, World Zionist Organization(WZO) (photo credit: ELAD BARAMI)
Yaakov Hagoel-Chairman of the executive, World Zionist Organization(WZO)
(photo credit: ELAD BARAMI)

Acting Chairman of the Jewish Agency Yaakov Hagoel revealed on Wednesday that the agency's shlichim (emissaries) were returning to Ukraine to work on the ground after working for ten days from the borders or outside of the country. According to Hagoel, this decision was approved by the Israeli government.

"Unfortunately, for the last ten days we have not been working in Ukraine, but I am glad to announce that the government, together with the Jewish Agency, understands that we need to return there and be on the ground. We will return to work in Ukraine with our local Ukrainian employees beginning Thursday at noon," he said. 

Hagoel added: "We estimate that instead of hundreds making Aliyah every week, thousands will be immigrating to Israel every week in the near future."

"We spoke to the government, in order to get permission to return to Ukraine and up the scale of Olim. I would like to thank the Prime Minister and the government ministers for trusting us. We want to bring more and more Jews to Israel. It's time to talk but to work hard."

Hagoel spoke from the border and said: "I left Ukraine and I crossed the border just now. I came to explore the ways we can bring more and more Jews to Israel. I've seen teams on the ground of the Jewish Agency, Nativ, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other organizations that do sacred work in saving real lives.

 Ukrainian Jewish refugees arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport, March 6, 2022.  (credit: HADAS PARUSH) Ukrainian Jewish refugees arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport, March 6, 2022. (credit: HADAS PARUSH)

"Not only will the immigrants not wait for the planes, but the planes will wait for the immigrants," he said. 

"This is a tragic event on a worldwide scale. The State of Israel knew how to mobilize more immigrants in the 1990s, and I know that all the ministers are doing all that they can to assist this important operation," he added. 

The State of Israel will be able to absorb and assimilate them "in the best way," Hagoel promised. 

He revealed that there is a growing interest in immigration from Russia: "We are deployed optimally. We will work to help them," he said.

He also spoke positively about the work of the Fellowship (IFCJ), Chabad and the JDC.  "Not everything is perfect, not everything is one hundred percent - we are in war and during a huge crisis."

He said the agency expects "tens of thousands of immigrants in the coming year from Ukraine."