A Milestone in Aliyah

ICEJ Assisted over 150,000 Jews in Aliyah!

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5 Nov 2019
A Milestone in Aliyah

At the Feast of Tabernacles 2019, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem also celebrated reaching a new milestone in its Aliyah efforts, as the ICEJ has now assisted more than 150,000 Jews to make the journey home to Israel since our founding in September 1980.

In modern times, some 3.6 million Jews have returned to the Land of Israel from all over the world – from the north, south, east and west – in literal fulfilment of biblical promises. For example, a massive wave of over one million Soviet Jews have made their way home to Israel ever since the collapse of the Iron Curtain exactly thirty years ago in October 1989. In response, the ICEJ was there to help with this historic Ingathering, not only from Russia but from many other regions of the world as well.

The ICEJ has engaged in a wide variety of Aliyah efforts, working closely with the Jewish Agency for Israel and other partners to help with the Jewish return to the Land of Israel. As of October 2019, the ICEJ has provided substantial assistance to more than 150,000 Jews making the journey home to Israel. That represents more than ten percent of the Jews who have made Aliyah over the past four decades.

In addition to these Aliyah figures, the Christian Embassy has also provided generous assistance towards Absorption projects that have helped tens of thousands of new Jewish immigrants settle into their new homes and integrate into Israeli society.

Meet the New Immigrants
To mark the occasion, the Christian Embassy invited forty of our recent olim (new immigrants) to attend the traditional Israeli Guest Night during the Feast of Tabernacles. This included individuals or families from Belarus, Brazil, China (Kaifeng Jews), Colombia, Ethiopia, France, India (Bnei Menashe), Russia, South Africa, and the Ukraine.

The 150,000th oleh assisted by the ICEJ is Danyl Godim, a medical doctor from Ukraine who made Aliyah in 2019 with his wife Ana, a nurse, and their two children.

Their son Elia, 16, came ahead of the family on the Naale youth pre-army program supported by ICEJ. The parents and younger daughter Oliana, 10, came on the Jewish Agency's “Profession for a New Life” program for medical doctors, also supported by ICEJ. Thanks to this unique program, Danyl will receive his license to practice medicine in Israel in less than a year.

Danyl and his wife decided to make Aliyah because they feel Israel is their true
home and here they can give their children a better future.

“We are grateful for all the assistance we have received, and could not have made Aliyah without it”, said Danyl. “We now want to begin giving back – me as a doctor, Ana as a nurse, and Elia as a soldier in the Israeli army.”

“I really have a hope that my family will find a good future and a good education here”, added Ana. “And I’m really thankful so much for everyone who helped us. I’m talking now about not only [money], not only about some food, it’s also about moral support.”

An Array of Aliyah Efforts

Over the past forty years, the types of Aliyah assistance provided by the ICEJ have included:

• Sponsoring flights to Israel for Jews making Aliyah.
• Offering grants to needy Jewish families moving to Israel.
• Providing transport by bus, train and other means to the airport for Aliyah flights.
• Paying for travel, lodging and other expenses for Jews to complete their documentation with the Jewish Agency.
• Providing special medical care and ambulance service for the handicapped on their way to Israel.
• Organizing ‘fishing’ efforts, such as concerts, seminars and mobile exhibits, to locate Jewish communities and encourage their move to Israel.
• Sponsoring Aliyah seminars and camps organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel.
• Funding Hebrew language classes and computer courses for young Russian Jews preparing to make Aliyah.
• Sponsoring Aliyah Fairs, ‘Red Carpet’ welcomes, and other events for Jewish immigrants just arriving in Israel.

Main Routes of Aliyah
Meanwhile, the ICEJ’s main routes of Aliyah have included:

St. Petersburg-Helsinki: The ICEJ’s first major route of Aliyah was through St. Petersburg and Helsinki, and we have now transported over 35,000 Jews from Northwest Russia to airports in St. Petersburg and Helsinki and over 4,000 Jews to the airport in Belarus – all bound for Israel.

Kaliningrad: Another 5,000 Jews have been transported from the Kaliningrad enclave in Poland for flights to Israel since the early 1990s.

Ukraine: During the years when ICEJ was the main sponsor of Exobus in the 1990s, we bused over 35,000 Jews to Kiev and other locales for flights or voyages by ship to Israel. Since the crisis with Russia erupted in 2013, the ICEJ has sponsored flights, pre-Aliyah seminars, Aliyah programs and transportation efforts for over 2,000 Ukrainian Jews.

Central Asia – ICEJ has assisted over 8,000 Jews coming home from Uzbekistan and neighboring Muslim republics since 1996.

Western Aliyah – Over the past decade, ICEJ has assisted with the upswing in Aliyah from France and Germany, as well as from North and South America.

Ethiopia – After sponsoring numerous absorption projects for Ethiopian Jewish immigrants for many years, the ICEJ has sponsored direct flights to Israel for 1,920 Ethiopian olim arriving since 2016.

Bnei Menashe – ICEJ has partnered with Shavei Israel to bring 1,065 Bnei Menashe from northeast India since 2012.

Here is a sneak peak of the Aliyah Timeline in our WFJ November/December 2019 issue: 

Thank you for taking a deeper look into the beautiful work of Aliyah! Join us in continuing to help Jews come home to Israel!