An Aliyah Family of Four, Soon to be Six!

By Anastasiya Gooding

Each of the 1,000 new Jewish immigrants the ICEJ has brought to Israel over recent months has a unique and meaningful story on their journey “home.” For Serguei and Tatyana Fraerman and their daughters, Olga and Elizabeth, the actual trip took only four days—but their journey to Israel has spanned eleven long years.

On May 12, the Fraerman family was placed on a specially chartered “evacuation flight” from Moscow bound for Ben Gurion Airport, with Tatyana 32 weeks pregnant with twins. It was still the height of the global coronavirus lockdown and their flight was the last opportunity for her to travel due to medical reasons. Her advanced pregnancy required a lot of extra paperwork and much persuasion with airport authorities, but they made it.

“In my mind, I expected that I would give birth in Israel,” Tatyana recounted. “But due to the situation with the coronavirus, our flight had been delayed over and over. The time came closer and closer when I would be forbidden to fly, and we began to lose heart. How could this be?”

“Then suddenly, as if a gift of fate, we received word that our flight to Israel was scheduled. Suddenly there were suitcases, packing of things, making arrangements. Everything happened instantly!”

“My parents died when I was nine years old, and at that time, I did not know about Aliyah,” said Serguei. “I knew my relatives lived in Israel, but I did not know if I could go there. Only at the age of 29 did I learn this was possible and began the process of repatriation. Then I met my spouse, our first daughter was born, then the second, and another stage in our life [began] with its own day-to-day problems.”

Although the application process turned out to be long, they continued to collect all the necessary documents for moving to Israel.

Then they learned that Tatyana was not only pregnant, but expecting twin boys. This became the pivotal moment… “We wanted the children to be born in Israel,” Serguei insisted. Yet with the Israel Embassy closed for quarantine and all airlines grounded, it appeared the dream was not to be, but then events began to unfold miraculously.

“First, I want to thank the Israeli consul for accepting our appointment during quarantine. Even though the Embassy staff were not at work, we submitted passports through the guards, and then the consul called me on the phone. He congratulated us on being approved and apologized for not being able to inform us in person,” recalled Serguei. “Then we received a letter that our departure will be on May 12.”

Describing his first moments in Israel, Serguei said: “At Ben Gurion Airport, we were immediately met by ICEJ staff and the Jewish Agency. Our children were presented with gifts and sweets, and we were photographed. Everything seemed to happen very quickly. l had not slept for two days before that, packing our luggage.”

“To come to Israel was like a call in our blood,” he said. “Here I feel at home. Although we haven’t even traveled or walked around yet, I have many friends and relatives here. This is a good country. This is a safe place for children, and it is paradise on earth.”

“I would like to thank the ICEJ for assisting us to make Aliyah. You help people make their dreams come true. Thank you so much for your support,” said Tatyana.

This is now a happy and hope-filled family ready to embrace their future here in the historic homeland of their Jewish ancestors. Serguei and Tatyana are grateful to everyone who have helped them along the way.