Against the backdrop of the fear of the war escalating into Moldova, a flight full of Holocaust survivor refugees departed from Kishinev.
In light of the escalation of tensions in the separatist Transnistria region of eastern Moldova and the security concerns that have been heightened there in recent weeks, the Jewish community in Moldova decided to secure an emergency flight to rescue elderly Holocaust survivors and those wounded from the war in Ukraine.
The rescue flight took off from Kishinev. It was organized by Chabad and the Moldova Jewish community (led by Rabbi Zushe Abelsky), ZAKA, which sent special commanders Chaim Otmezgin and Nachman Dickstein (the organization’s deputy commander in Ukraine), Yad Yisroel led by Rabbi Moshe Fimah, the Fellowship, the Jewish Agency, Or Avner, and JDC.
The immigrants made their way to Israel on a charter flight that was hired specifically for this purpose, and they have ID cards that have already been issued in Kishinev.
Rabbi Mendy Axelrod, a Chabad Rabbi in Moldova who was able to put on tefillin with a Holocaust survivor for the first time in his life, said, “For weeks we have been treating wounded Holocaust survivors who came as refugees from the war in Ukraine. We gave them the most dedicated care, hot food and medicine and I am so glad that they will not start a new life in the Holy Land. I want to thank all those who are involved in this sacred work.”
ZAKA Director General Dubi Wiesenstern added, “This is a complex operation, one of several, that we are carrying out with a medical team that includes a doctor in order to provide these Holocaust survivors with the best conditions until they arrive in Israel.”