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Finding A Home in the Storm

Victoria's Aliyah Story

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Posted on: 
12 May 2020
Finding A Home in the Storm

Five months into 2020 and the world is an entirely different landscape than when the year began. However, in the midst of closed borders, lockdowns and social distancing, one door in Israel has remained open – the door of Aliyah! Jews are still coming home to Israel from the nations, and once again Christians worldwide are playing a role in this prophetic fulfillment through the work of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

Since Coronavirus travel bans were first imposed in February, the ICEJ has sponsored Aliyah flights for 601 new Jewish immigrants, including families like Yaroslav and Victoria from Ukraine, who are expecting their first child.

Because of the advanced stage of Victoria’s pregnancy, it would have been very difficult to get her out of Ukraine in coming months. There also are no regular flights out of the region at this time. So Israeli officials and our Aliyah partners at the Jewish Agency have been working with the governments of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus to arrange special emergency charter flights each week which are bringing back Israeli citizens as well as Jews approved for immigration to Israel. This is an amazing opening in the middle of the Corona crisis, and the ICEJ is pleased to be a part by sponsoring flights for these Jewish families making the move to Israel.

When Yaroslav and Victoria arrived in mid-April on an ICEJ-sponsored flight from Kiev, they immediately went into a two-week mandatory quarantine. Now released, they are busy settling into their new home in the city of Ramla, in central Israel.

Married for little more than a year, Victoria explained why they decided to come and why now?

“We were not afraid in the face of the growing Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the fact that travel between cities and countries was stopped, we continued to prepare for the move [to Israel] and the care from the Aliyah coordinators helped a lot. I really wanted our child’s birth to take place in Israel. Now that we have made it safely here, our parents can stop worrying.”

This journey of Aliyah began early in life for Victoria. “From my childhood, I had the feeling that I did not belong in the place where I was. When I grew up, I discovered my Jewish roots, which confirmed the truth of my experiences.”

In 2017, Victoria traveled to Israel for the first time with her dad to see relatives. “When I visited this country, I had a feeling in my soul that I found the answer to my question: This is the place where I want to be, the place that I belonged. A new calm settled over my soul.”

After that trip, Victoria moved to the capital of Kiev and began attending Hebrew courses as well as Jewish cultural events to get better acquainted with her future surroundings in Israel. Victoria soon met Yaroslav, the love of her life, and not long after she became a happy bride. With Yaroslav fully supportive of her desire to start their new life together in the Jewish homeland, the young couple even chose Israel for their two-week honeymoon destination.

“When we spent our honeymoon in Israel, these were two unforgettable weeks that gave us the motivation to do our best to live and build a family in Israel,” Yaroslav shared.

As they settle into their new life in central Israel, what is ahead for this wonderful couple?

“We will live, we will work and try to give a decent life to our future generation”, said Yaroslav.

Victoria plans to study languages, while Yaroslav will make professional use of his artistic skills. And this is only the beginning. Amid the pandemic, this young family is full of bright plans for life here in Israel.

“This is our love story and our way of making Aliyah,” Victoria summed up with her natural enthusiasm. 

“We are so happy to be here, and we want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped us! Because it was our dream and such a deep desire in our hearts.”

There are many more Jews in the nations wanting to come home now, in spite of the Coronavirus threat. In fact, many see Israel is keeping its public safer from the virus than their current countries. Others believe Israel’s economy will recover faster than their locales, so they actually want to speed up the immigration process.

Indeed, there is a fresh wave of Aliyah expected over coming months from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, from Ethiopia, from the West, and many other regions of the world. And the ICEJ wants to be there to help! Currently, we are raising funds to bring 150 Jews from Russian-speaking nations to the north, and 120 Ethiopian Jews home from the south, all within the next few weeks.

So please give your best gift today to support the ICEJ’s Aliyah efforts today!


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