Christian organizations lining up to assist as Israel prepares to welcome thousands of Ukrainian-Jewish immigrants
Some 3,000 Ukrainian Jews already requested to immigrate to Israel in the past 24 hours alone, according to the Jewish Agency
The Jewish state is reportedly preparing for absorbing up to 10,000 Jewish immigrants from Ukraine in the coming weeks, unnamed Israeli government officials told The Jerusalem Post during the weekend.
Israel’s Ministry of Immigration and Absorption did not elaborate on specific numbers of immigrants, but confirmed that it is currently preoccupied with absorbing any Jew from Ukraine who wishes to move to Israel.
“The Ministry of Immigration and Absorption is prepared for the emergency immigration of Ukrainian Jews, and in view of the escalation in Ukraine, the ministry, headed by Minister Tamano Shata, is preparing all sectors to assist and absorb any Jew seeking to immigrate to Israel,” according to their statement.
In a warm message, the ministry openly encouraged Jews in Ukraine to make aliyah, immigrate to the Jewish state: “We call on the Jews of Ukraine to immigrate to Israel - your home.”
Following the dramatic increase in the number of Ukrainian Jews who wish to move to Israel, the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption and Russian-speaking Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman agreed to provide more budgets and remove hurdles in order to enable emergency immigration operations from the war-torn Ukraine.
Some 3,000 Ukrainian Jews have already requested to immigrate to Israel in the past 24 hours alone, according to the Jewish Agency’s acting chariman, Yaacov Hagoel. The Jewish Agency is a semi-governmental organization tasked with assisting and coordinating Jewish immigration to Israel.
As hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians flee their country, the Jewish Agency plans to open six stations for processing Jewish immigration to Israel on Ukraine’s borders with Poland, Hungary, Romania and Moldova.
The Jewish Agency recently relocated its office to the city of Lviv in western Ukraine close to Poland. However, following Russia’s decision to broaden its invasion of Ukraine on Saturday and the Russian military's targeting of Lviv, the Jewish Agency close its office in the city and relocated to Poland to continue the rescue operations of Ukrainian-Jewish refugees.
“From there, they will cross the border into Ukraine every day, together with Israel’s diplomatic teams, in order to continue assisting Ukrainian Jews who want to immigrate to Israel,” the Jewish Agency stated.
Meanwhile, the pro-Israel organizations, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), Christians for Israel – Holland (CVI) and Ebenezer Operation Exodus are actively working on the ground in Ukraine to assist local Jews with moving to the Jewish state.
“The ICEJ has been involved in the Aliyah from Ukraine since the 1980s. We were especially active in the early 1990s when we helped transport over 35,000 Ukrainian Jews on their way to Israel by sponsoring the Exodus Project. 7,000 more came later with special van convoys into western Ukraine operated by the ICEJ’s Swiss branch. And since the conflict in eastern Ukraine first erupted in 2014, the Christian Embassy has assisted Aliyah for over 2,000 Ukrainian Jews to reach Israel. Now, the Jewish Agency For Israel has requested the ICEJ’s help with their urgent plans to evacuate imperiled Jewish families from Ukraine and fly them to Israel,” the ICEJ said.
The World Zionist Organization also said today it will aid in the settlement of new immigrants from Ukraine with portable structures, or caravans, quickly erected in rural areas of Israel.
"The war that broke out in Ukraine obliges us to act for the immediate absorption of immigrants," said Chairman of the Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization Yishai Merling.
With up to 200,000 Jews, Ukraine is home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the world. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis are of Ukrainian Jewish descent. Many of the modern Jewish state’s founders hailed from Ukraine, including legendary Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, who led Israel to victory during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Vladimir Zeev Jabotinsky, who was born in the Ukrainian port city Odessa, was the founder of the Jewish Legion within the British Army during World War I and laid the ideological foundation for the conservative Israeli Likud party currently led by opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.