Immigration Seminar for Ukrainian Jews

By: Howard Flower, ICEJ Aliyah Director

One year after the start of the war in Ukraine, the Jewish Agency held a special immigration preparation seminar for Ukrainian Jews in the western Ukrainian mountains, away from the ongoing Russian offensive in the East. (In actuality, the “war” has been dragging on since February 2014, when Russia and Ukraine first clashed.) More than 100 Ukrainian Jews attended this intensive fast-track program for immigration to Israel, led by senior Jewish Agency leaders such as Max Lurye, born in Dnipro, Ukraine, who has helped rescue thousands of immigrants in the nine long years since the war began.

Since last spring, fighting has continued almost nonstop, and innocent civilians have found themselves trapped in the chaos, their lives forever altered by the violence surrounding them. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) was pleased to help by sponsoring the seminar.

The attacks from the East have intensified in scale and scope, mercilessly targeting innocent civilians and critical energy infrastructure across Ukraine. For Ukraine’s Jewish community, the situation has been particularly dire. Jewish families have faced tremendous challenges, from the destruction of their homes and communities to the constant threat of violence and persecution. Sometimes the only light piercing the darkness on Shabbat comes from the candles.

Despite the challenges, Ukrainian Jews have continued to immigrate to Israel at a steady pace of around 100 people per week. Through advocacy, aid, and action, the work of ICEJ and the Jewish Agency has had far-reaching impacts, facilitating the safe passage of Ukrainian Jews to Israel and offering support for their successful integration into new communities. Though immense challenges remain, these organizations continue working tirelessly to assist those in need, offering a guiding light amid darkness and a path to safety amid peril. Moreover, their efforts represent a lifeline of hope for the future, providing comfort and solace for those impacted by violence and war.

The surge in Aliyah is expected to continue well into 2023, so please keep supporting the ICEJ’s Aliyah efforts.