The summer wave of Aliyah continues. 145 new Olim from France have landed today (Tuesday) at Ben-Gurion airport, arriving with the assistance of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ). The Olim, consisting of 38 families, come from different cities through France, including Paris, Lyon, Marseilles, Toulouse, and Nice, which last month experienced a heavy terror attack, claiming dozens of lives. These flights are joined by two other flights coordinated by the IFCJ, which arrived last week from the Ukraine, bringing 235 new Olim from the eastern part of the country.
The majority of the new Olim from France (111) come from Paris and talk about the drastic rise in anti-Semitism in the city as the underlying reason behind their decision to make Aliyah. Many of the Olim left behind not just their homes, but successful businesses as well - which they had to sell prior to their Aliyah. One such example is the S. family, arriving from Paris on the first flight. The family - Father, Mother and their three children - talk about the severe anti-Semitism they faced.
"It got to the point where we had to take off our Yarmulkes when in public since they made us into a target," say the parents adding that the decision to make Aliyah did not come easily. "In Paris we had a successful family business, selling a type of very popular French candy. The fear of anti-Semitism brought us to the realization that in order to live peacefully and freely as Jewish people, we must leave for Israel. The family, which comes from a religious background, is set to begin its new life in Jerusalem.
Along with the S. family were the B. family, also arriving from Paris. "We came from Paris and we are very happy to make Aliyah today. I have waited for this moment for 20 years, and now I get to make Aliyah with my whole family, me, my husband and our 5 children", says the mother. When asked what made them decide to make Aliyah, she answers that "It was always a dream of mine and I only wish to come back home, to Israel. The situation in France is very difficult, there is a lot of anti-Semitism. People aren't very good to Jewish people and it's very difficult for us. The children are hurt by this anti-Semitism as well. We are happy to be at home." The B' family is also set to move to Jerusalem, along with 20 other families that landed today.
In addition to the flight from Paris, carrying 111 new Olim, another flight has landed today in Ben-Gurion airport from Marseilles with 35 new Olim aboard, coming from the city of Marseilles and others in the area. One such family is the K' family. The family had learned about the IFCJ and about the opportunity to make Aliyah following a visit by the head of IFCJ , Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, to their children's school in the city. In their meeting, the family members told Rabbi Eckstein about the hardships and fears they face in the city streets on a daily basis.
According to them, the recurring attacks against Jewish people in the city have severely damaged their sense of security and their ability to run a normal life. "We decided that if we won't do something, we might find ourselves in real danger", say the parents. "We decided, along with our children, that we cannot go on like this and that only by making Aliyah can we truly live peacefully as Jewish people." The family is set to live in Haifa.
Among the Olim arriving today, 78 are children between the ages of 3-18, 4 of which are babies, making this Aliyah one of the youngest of the summer. The youngest of the Olim is 7 months old and the oldest is 88. The Olim are set to live in a total of 12 cities throughout Israel, including Ashkelon, Holon, Haifa, Netanya, Jerusalem, Ofakim and Sderot. This flight comes in addition to 27 other flights the IFCJ has directed in the last three months, as part of its efforts to assist the Aliyah to Israel. 4000 new Olim have made Aliyah As part of these efforts, coming from the Ukraine, France, South-America and more.
As in the previous waves of Aliyah, all the Olim who arrived today will receive financial support from the IFCJ. Upon their arrival in Israel, the IFCJ is assisting the new Olim with grants of 1000$ given to every adult and 500$ for every child, in addition to funding their flights to Israel. This support by the IFCJ is given in addition to the various grants the Olim are entitled to from the Ministry of Absorption.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President of the IFCJ, adds that "The state of Israel is home to all Jewish people worldwide. It is a home in which every Jewish person can truly lead a Jewish life in freedom, Peace, and security. The IFCJ is making every effort in order to assist all Jewish people who feel threatened in their homelands, just for being Jewish, in making Aliyah and gaining the opportunity to lead a full Jewish life."