5,000th Ukrainian immigrant lands in Israel since Russia-Ukraine war began

As war wages on, more and more Ukrainian Jews are making Aliyah to Israel. Last night the number reached 5,000.

 Katya, 5,000th Oleh from Ukraine to israel with her son, Stas, and CEO of JAI, Hagoel (photo credit: JEWISH AGENCY)
Katya, 5,000th Oleh from Ukraine to israel with her son, Stas, and CEO of JAI, Hagoel
(photo credit: JEWISH AGENCY)

The 5,000th immigrant to Israel from Ukraine landed at Ben-Gurion Airport on Wednesday night on a rescue flight of the Jewish Agency for Israel with her infant son. "I feel like I am returning home," she said. 

Katya Kryplok, 29, doctor, fled Kyiv on Wednesday with her toddler son Stas. They were received by the Aliyah center of the Jewish Agency in Budapest, Hungary. Kryplok left behind her husband, mother, and brother.

Acting Chairman of the Jewish Agency the CEO of the World Zionist Organization Yaakov Hagoel, accompanying her on her flight, said: "This is one of the biggest Aliyah operations in the history of Israel. The blessing in this operation is double — we saved thousands of Jews, and are now bringing them to Israel.

"The Jewish Agency continues to fulfill its mission to save Jews from all across the globe," Hagoel added, as he returned in the same flight with Kryplok, was after a visit near the Hungarian-Ukrainian border with a delegation of the Knesset. 

Kryplok's dream is to join the Israeli health system and learn the language and culture. "I am afraid for my family's sake and safety, but I know I'm going back home so I feel secure and happy," she said.

 Katya, 5,000th oleh from ukraine, being greeted by Hagoel at the airport (credit: JEWISH AGENCY) Katya, 5,000th oleh from ukraine, being greeted by Hagoel at the airport (credit: JEWISH AGENCY)

The Jewish Agency Aliyah center in Budapest is one of 18 centers that the Agency and International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) are operating in neighboring countries. Refugees remain in those centers until their flight and arrival in Israel with assistance of the Aliyah and Integration Ministry.

The Aliyah and Integration Ministry updated that, as of Friday morning, 709 more immigrants arrived at Ben Gurion Airport, 233 on a tourist visa while the rest are entitled to enter on ground of Law of Return.

According to International Rescue Committee (IRC), more than two million Ukrainians fled from the carnage of war, and therefore is the "fastest displacement crisis since the Second World War," said Heather Macey, IRC's team leader in Poland.