Two hundred and twenty-seven new immigrants from Belarus, France, Russia and Ukraine arrived in Israel on multiple flights during Israel Aliyah Week through the efforts and financial support of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews ("The Fellowship").
"Aliyah" refers to the immigration of Jews to Israel, and Aliyah Day is an Israeli holiday celebrating the immigration of Jews to Israel and the many contributions that immigrants have made to strengthen the Jewish state. Among its many activities, The Fellowship seeks to help as many immigrants and refugees as possible make their aliyah to Israel.
These hundreds of new Israeli citizens are the most recent among the more than 10,000 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.
These generous, customized benefits packages supplement what every immigrant receives from Israel's Ministry of Absorption.
"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."
Yom HaAliyah and Aliyah Week only spur The Fellowship to continue providing Jews worldwide with a lifeline to their Jewish homeland, Eckstein added. "We will not rest until every Jew who wishes to immigrate to Israel is here!"
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