In a miraculous display of fortuitousness and resolve, 31 new Jewish immigrants (olim) from Brazil managed to find their way to Israel last weekend despite myriad restrictions required to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“The fact is that our work must continue,” said Yael Eckstein, president and CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. “Of course, we cannot risk the lives of anyone, and we will not, but in this case we were able to abide by every single guideline and still fulfill the dreams of these dear Brazilian Jews.”
The Fellowship announced two weeks ago a $5 million fund to provide immediate and ongoing assistance to over 30,000 elderly Israelis, some of them Holocaust survivors, who are sheltering at home in order to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
The effort to bring the olim from Brazil to Israel involved booking no fewer than 10 different flights, most of which were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The olim had all planned their move to Israel well before the outbreak, and remaining in Brazil was no longer possible for them. In cooperation with Israeli authorities, and before boarding their flights, every one of the olim signed an agreement to enter into quarantine upon their arrival.