Christians in Israel Caring for Holocaust Survivors, Sponsoring Arrival of New Immigrants

Amid Israel's urgent efforts to combat the coronavirus threat, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is helping to feed and care for many elderly Israelis confined to the homes, including hundreds of Holocaust survivors, while also sponsoring Aliyah flights from Russia and Ethiopia due to arrive within the next 48 hours.

"While the government's measures to fight the coronavirus is impacting the whole country, I am glad we are still able to help Israel pull through this crisis in a number of ways," said ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler. "This includes packing and delivering food boxes to senior citizens and caring for Holocaust survivors, as depicted in this video."

On Sunday evening, a group of 26 Russian Jewish immigrants sponsored by the ICEJ will arrive on a flight from St. Petersburg and immediately go into a two-week self-quarantine due to the COVID-19 threat. This flight marks the 30th anniversary of the ICEJ's sponsorship of Jewish families making aliyah from the former Soviet Union.

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The ICEJ also is sponsoring the flights of 72 Ethiopian Jews scheduled to land early on Tuesday morning from Addis Ababa. They will be taken to the Beit Alfa absorption center and enter quarantine for 14 days as well. In addition, the ICEJ will be funding Passover gift baskets with food, games, learning materials and other items for these and other recently arrived Ethiopian Jewish families as part of their integration process during the upcoming holiday season.

Meantime, the ICEJ has seven Christian staff and volunteers in Haifa who have been helping to pack and deliver food boxes to hundreds of senior citizens in the city, including many Holocaust survivors who are confined to their homes as a health precaution. The ICEJ team also was specially tasked with providing food and daily care, including medical checks, for the 70 residents at its Haifa Home for Holocaust survivors, who must stay in their rooms as well. These efforts, done in partnership with the Israeli charity Yad Ezer L'Haver, drew mention and praise from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at one of his daily press briefings on the coronavirus last week.

In addition, ICEJ staff in Jerusalem packed and delivered food boxes this past week to a number of elderly and disabled Israelis who are regularly cared for by its team of skilled nurses.

This coming week, the Christian Embassy also will have staff working with the charities Latet and Ezrat Avot to pack and deliver food boxes to the front doors of hundreds of Israeli senior citizens who must remain in their homes to avoid the virus.

"We are working within the rules set by the Health Ministry to help Israelis as much as we can in this troubling time confronting the whole world," said Dr. Bühler. "We know it is in difficult moments like these when our efforts to bless and comfort Israel count the most."

David Parsons is vice president and senior international spokesman for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. For more information on the embassy's Israel in Crisis outreach go to icejusa.org/aid/israel_in_crisis.

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