Ukrainian Olim
Ukrainian OlimIFCJ

Earlier today, about 250 immigrants from the Ukraine landed in Ben-Gurion airport in Israel.

This renewed wave of immigration comes following a hiatus during the High Holidays of Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur.

Among the immigrants who participated in the flight there are 117 families, which will all settle in the north and center of Israel. The immigrants of the upcoming flight will receive assistance from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ).

The eldest immigrant today is 86-years old, and along with her 52 children will become citizens, 7 of them are under 2 years old.

Before they boarded the plane, the new immigrants said that they were very hopeful that coming on Aliyah will allow them to begin a new life in a more peaceful and safe place then their birthplace. When hearing there personal stories it is clear that these immigrants have experienced war in its vilest way.

According to Valentina, who is coming on Aliyah with her husband and three children, her child's life was saved miraculously a few times during the ongoing conflict with Russia. "Life under a shelter had become a routine during the time we were living in Mariupol. There was fighting at one point that forced us to stay within a shelter for over two months".

"The day to day situation in the Ukraine now is awful and in some mysterious way only getting worse" mentioned Olga, another immigrant on the flight today. "Throughout the battles, as they became more stressful, my family and I were forced to live on the streets. I am so grateful for this opportunity to come and live in Israel with the help of IFCJ and to establish my home in the land of my ancestors, my historic homeland".

Maria and her two children came to Israel from the city of Donetsk. This is their first time visiting the country.

"I have never been to Israel before but I am confident that this is the best place for my family and me now. We lived in fear, I was depressed during this period more than once and my son developed a stutter as a result of these difficult times. I fell in love with Israel before I set foot in it, I love the country and the endless opportunities it may offer me."

In addition to the immigrants from the Ukraine, over the next two days 50 more immigrants will be arriving from France. These immigrants will be coming from three different central cities: Frankfurt, Marseille and Paris. The immigrants described the latest anti-Semitic events occurring in Europe and France as the main trigger to their decision to come on Aliyah.

During 2016, over 2,500 immigrants arrived in Israel with the help of the IFCJ, in addition to the flights arriving today and tomorrow.

The immigrants in the upcoming flights will be assisted by the IFCJ, not only after arriving in Israel but also during their integration period in Israel After arriving in Israel, IFCJ will provide the immigrants with special grants that amount to $1,000 for each adult and $500 for each child, in addition to covering the expense of the flights. This support is in addition to the help of the Absorption Ministry grant and the regular benefits that all immigrants receive from the ministry when they arrive in Israel . During the following week, the immigrants will be joining an integration seminary arranged by the IFCJ.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President of the IFCJ: "As a part of our engagement with Aliyah we are often exposed to moving stories of Jews from all around the world that have been through numerous troubles and now at last are fulfilling their Zionist dream and coming to live in Israel. We assist thousands of Jews from tens of countries from the Ukraine through Brazil to come and live in Israel. We help all immigrants when integrating into the Israeli society and economy by closely following up and providing financial aid so that we can assure the best possible integration"

Olim at Ben Gurion airport
Olim at Ben Gurion airportIFCJ
Ukrainian Olim IFCJ