72 Georgian immigrants fulfill their dream of making aliyah

"The Jews of Georgia are one family. We are all together, both in sorrow and in joy."

72 immigrants arrive in Israel on the IFCJ and Jewish Agency flight amid the coronavirus lockdown October, 2020. (photo credit: INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIANS AND JEWS/JEWISH AGENCY)
72 immigrants arrive in Israel on the IFCJ and Jewish Agency flight amid the coronavirus lockdown October, 2020.
(photo credit: INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIANS AND JEWS/JEWISH AGENCY)
Seventy-two new immigrants from Georgia fulfilled their dream of making aliyah after landing in Israel this week. They arrived on the first flight from Georgia arranged by the Jewish Agency and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) since the outbreak of the coronavirus. 
Since the beginning of the High Holy Days lockdown, more than 800 olim have landed in Israel coming from more than 25 different countries in accordance with coronavirus regulations. 
"Immigration to Israel has never stopped and it continues now, even in the shadow of the coronavirus. The Jewish Agency works to bring olim under the global constraints of the coronavirus, and helps them fulfill their Zionist dream," Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog said in a statement.
Among the olim were singles, young families and 17 children. Among them are doctors, engineers, scientists, teachers and students. About a third of the immigrants requested to live in the city of Bat Yam and the rest in other locations throughout the country, from Eilat to Nahariya. 
On the flight was Stella Alikzrashvili who hopes to locate the grave of her grandmother's brother, the late Rabbi Aharon Alikzrashvili, in addition to other relatives in Israel.
"He was a rabbi in Tbilisi, Georgia, at the beginning of the 20th century before he immigrated to Jerusalem where he then continued his life as a rabbi in Israel," she explained. 
She said that her family has very little other information on him other than this, since whoever knew him on her side of the family passed away at a young age. Alikzrashvili said she really hopes that she can locate his grave and discover other new relatives in Israel.
Dr. Binshvili Beka, a dentist by profession, also landed in Israel to fulfill his dream of reuniting with his student son who made aliyah two years ago. 
At the age of 25, Beka donated a Torah scroll to the Central Synagogue in Tbilisi. 
"It was my dream. I am very connected to the religion, I went to synagogue every day," Beka said. "The Jews of Georgia are one family. We are all together, both in sorrow and in joy."
"Israel has never closed its doors on immigration, even now in the face of the most severe crisis," IFCJ president and CEO Yael Eckstein explained. "Even now, despite the challenges of the coronavirus, we continue to bring olim to Israel from all over the world, who know that the State of Israel will overcome the crisis and return to its normal self soon."
The immigrants entered quarantine immediately upon their arrival in Israel. Following the end of their quarantine period they will take their first steps into beginning their new lives in the Jewish state. 
Together with the 72 olim from the Georgia flight, a total of 390 will have arrived in Israel by the end of this week. This includes 50 immigrants from Russia, 50 from France, 50 from Ukraine and 30 from South Africa and other countries around the world. 
Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata said that under her leadership, her ministry will "continue to work for the best absorption and guidance of new olim in their new country. 
"We are expecting significant waves of immigration in 2021, and for this purpose I have formulated a broad national plan for immigration and absorption that will be submitted to the government soon," she said.