TEL AVIV (EJP)—227 new olim (immigrants) from Belarus, France, Russia and Ukraine arrived in Israel on multiple flights during Israel Aliyah Week with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship).
The Knesset held ceremonies marking Aliyah Day on Wednesday, when 174 of the new immigrants arrived with The Fellowship, while the Department of Education has worked with schools to focus on the issue of aliyah all week. Friday is the national Yom HaAliyah, observed.
These hundreds of new Israeli citizens are the most recent among the more than 10,000 who The Fellowship has brought to Israel since it began leading its own aliyah activities in 26 countries in late 2014.
Over the past 25 years, The Fellowship, supported by hundreds of thousands of Christians worldwide, has spent more than $200 million – initially working in tandem with other agencies and helping launch the aliyah organization Nefesh B’Nefesh – to bring more than 730,000 new immigrants to Israel since the first days of the Soviet Jewry movement.
The Fellowship provides a suite of aliyah services, from pre-trip seminars to free flights to post-arrival financial aid, for Jews who wish to move to Israel and are facing economic hardship, rising anti-Semitism, and security threats around the world.
“We are proud to greet so many new immigrants, specifically this week when Israel celebrates Yom HaAliyah (Immigration Day),” said The Fellowship’s founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. “There is no better way to mark this day and this week than by wishing a hearty ‘bruchim habaim’ – welcome – to the new immigrants who arrive here.”
The latest immigrants will be taking up residence in cities and towns around the country, including Ashkelon, Bat Yam, Haifa, Netanya, and others.
The Fellowship provides each adult immigrant with an $800 voucher and each child with a $400 voucher, in addition to making in-home visits for the next six months to ensure their basic needs are met with such items as appliances, furnishings, school information, and more. The Fellowship also gives seminars such as “Preparing for Life in Israel,” which includes practical information on acclimating to Israeli life.
“Immigrants make up the past, present, and future of the Jewish state,” Eckstein said. “They are our VIPs, who contribute substantially to Israel’s economy, education, science, culture, and sports.” “We will not rest until every Jew who wishes to immigrate to Israel is here,” he added.