JERUSALEM - About 100 young immigrants from Ukraine landed in Israel today on a special flight organized by The Jewish Agency for Israel in cooperation with Keren Hayesod.
Notably, the Aliyah flight took place during the same week as leaders from Israel and around the world attended the Ukrainian government’s official international event marking the 80th anniversary of the Babyn Yar massacre, the mass shootings in which more than 33,000 Jews from Kiev were murdered by the Nazis.
“Eighty years since the terrible massacre in Babyn Yar, you dear immigrants are the voice of those who were cruelly destroyed just because they were Jews,” said Yaakov Hagoel, Chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Acting Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency, who attended the memorial event in Ukraine. “You are the symbol of the victory of good over evil, justice over hatred. In your journey to our homeland, you represent the ultimate victory.”
The immigrants will be integrated into a variety of Jewish Agency absorption and education programs throughout Israel, from Karmiel in the north to Nitzana in the south. On board the flight were participants of different Jewish Agency initiatives in the former Soviet Union, including the Sela program for ages 17-18 that is jointly with the Israeli Ministry of Education, along with other teens joining the Naale Elite Academy and Masa programs.
In Israel, the newcomers from Ukraine will participate in volunteer programs around the country, while young families will be part of a special program at kibbutzim called First Home in the Homeland. The immigrants from Ukraine arrived with the help of the Ofek Israel organization and Keren Hayesod, as well as support from friends of Israel at the Kenneth Copeland Ministries.
"Every plane with new immigrants symbolizes the establishment of more new homes in Israel and it is exciting each time. Keren Hayesod supporters, all over the world, donate wholeheartedly to this important mission and are loyal partners in supporting aliyah and absorption throughout the years of the State of Israel," said Sam Grundwerg, World Chairman of Keren Hayesod-UIA.
From the beginning of this year until the end of September, more than 2,000 immigrants from Ukraine made Aliyah to Israel, similar to the figure from the corresponding period last year.