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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘IFCJ’

211 New Immigrants Flee to Israel From War-Torn Ukraine

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

With the increase of hostilities on the Russian-Ukrainian border in recent weeks, 211 new immigrants from Ukraine landed Tuesday at Ben Gurion Airport.

Most came from the embattled regions in the eastern part of Ukraine, arriving on the 19th flight sponsored by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) since hostilities broke out between the two countries.

“There has been a significant increase in calls from potential Olim to the IFCJ representatives in Ukraine and we are doing everything to give them the best possible service so that they can begin new and secure lives in Israel, which was and still is the home for any person who is part of the Jewish people,” noted Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, IFCJ president.

Approximately 4,000 immigrants have fled to Israel from Ukraine on flights sponsored by the organization since December 2014. Among those who arrived Tuesday were 37 children who are to begin their studies in Israeli schools in two days, including nine in the first grade.

Natalia S. arrived in Israel with her mother and son, and said that she was forced to leave the city of Marinka in the Donetsk region in Eastern Ukraine after the extensive bombing in the city that began in April 2014. The building where her family lived was bombed and some of their neighbors were killed.

Natalia explained that her family’s Jewishness was kept secret by her grandmother who had survived the Holocaust, while her husband, Natalia’s grandfather, was in a concentration camp. As a result, she says, “we knew we had Jewish roots but did not have the documents to prove it.”

According to Natalia, during one of the family’s visits to the Holocaust Museum an employee at the site advised her about which archive to search in order to find documents that would prove their Jewish roots.

“Because of the advice we were given, we went later to the archive and found my grandmother’s documents. In the documents, we read that she had changed her name and her father’s name, from “Alia” and “Avraham” to “Lisa” and “Peter,” she said. Natalia, her mother, and her son are planning to settle in Akko. Among Tuesday’s group of new olim there were seven babies, including two who were only six months old. The oldest person on the flight was age 82, and the average age of the group was 34. The preferred destination for the immigrants was Haifa, where 42 of the new arrivals elected to settle.

Most of the olim came from the Dniepropetrovsk region, which has become one of the preferred destinations for refugees escaping the embattled areas in Eastern Ukraine because of its proximity and the fact that it is still in Ukrainian hands.

The IFCJ assists the Olim to Israel with special grants of $1,000 for each adult oleh and $500 for each child, in addition to financing the flight to Israel. This support is provided by the organization in addition to the standard basket of benefits each immigrant receives from the Israel Ministry of Aliyah and Absorption. The organization also arranges the absorption of the new immigrant families with the various local authorities prior to their arrival in Israel, recruiting locals to accompany the new olim as they seek housing and employment and settle in to their new surroundings.

Hana Levi Julian

Hundreds More Ukraine Jews Preparing to Flee

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Hundreds of Ukraine Jews are reportedly planning to flee the country due to the increasingly unstable living conditions.

Ukraine is still in a conflict with Russia over Crimea and the eastern Donbass province. Some 40,000 Russian troops massed along the Crimea-Ukraine border last week, prompting Ukraine to place its own troops on high alert ahead of the 25th Ukraine Independence Day.

Separatist forces helped Russia annex Crimea in 2014 in a vicious conflict that left thousands dead.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews reports its Kiev office has received more than 1,700 inquiries from Ukraine Jews over the past month about aliyah to Israel, which the organization helps facilitate.

An estimated 260,000 Jews are allegedly still living in the war-torn country. According to the NGO, there are about 5,000 Jews in the disputed Donbass region who are eligible to immigrate to Israel.

Many Jews in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, both in Donbass, are unable to reach the area of Ukraine where they can collect their basic state pensions of some $40 per month, due to attacks and military checkpoints.

Local authorities in Donbass recently jailed a Jewish community official who helped the Fellowship administer local humanitarian aid, and then exiled him west to the Ukraine capital, Kiev.

As often happens in times of war, the Jewish community has been caught in the crossfire between Ukraine forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

Hana Levi Julian

More Jews Flee to Israel, Escaping Terror in France

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

More Jews are fleeing the rising terror and anti-Semitism in France. On Tuesday 145 new French immigrants landed at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.

The 38 families range from infancy to age 88 and include 78 children. They arrived with the assistance of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

The organization is helping new Israeli immigrants in addition to the regular benefits received by olim from the Jewish Agency for the State of Israel.

Most of the new olim — 111 of the immigrants — came from Paris. Many left behind not just their homes, but successful businesses as well, which they had to sell prior to their aliyah.

Those who arrived Tuesday cited the drastic rise in anti-Semitism in France as the main reason for leaving their homes.

Hana Levi Julian

Ukraine Jews Come ‘Home’ Helped By Israel & IFCJ

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

A new group of 235 immigrants from Ukraine landed this week at Ben Gurion Internation Airport. Many of them arrived still badly traumatized from their experiences over the past two years in war-torn areas of the former Soviet satellite.

Many have been homeless, wandering from town to town, ducking bullets and praying for safety. More than a few have found themselves in the middle of what is known as the “The Republic of Luhansk”, a separatist state established in eastern Ukraine by Pro-Russian separatist forces. It is now a battlefield between the two factions.

The new Israelis made the trip with special assistance from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. The organization is helping the new immigrants with grants of $1,000 for every adult and $500 per children. The group also paid for each new immigrant’s flight to Israel.

The flight was one of 28 that was arranged by the IFCJ in the past three months in order to bring new immigrants to Israel. On those flights were more than 4,000 new olim who came home to the Jewish State from places like Ukraine, France, South America and elsewhere.

The assistance came in additition to the regular benefits package provided to new immigrants by the State of Israel Ministry of Immigration and Absorption.

The youngest of the new olim is only six months old, and the oldest is age 95. They are set to live in 30 different cities across Israel, including Nahariya, Haifa, Netanya, Afula, Bat Yam, and Eilat.

Hana Levi Julian

IFCJ Warns Rising Israeli Arab Angst May Become Strategic Threat

Monday, January 25th, 2016

A new poll conducted on behalf of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews in the Israeli Arab population is raising red flags – and reinforcing recent warnings by President Reuven Rivlin about the rising popularity of Da’esh (ISIS) in that population.

Rivlin said that according to figures gleaned from “research studies, arrests, testimonies and covert analyses,” there is increasing support for Da’esh among Israeli Arabs.

The survey, conducted by the Stat-net Institute, polled a sample of 500 low-income Israeli Arabs. The findings showed that 67 percent of Israeli Arabs feel discriminated against, and 71 percent feel that low-income Israeli Jews receive more state aid than they do. Further, 54 percent of Israeli Arabs feel the government – including Israeli Arab Mks – do not care about their interests.

The poll was commissioned to measure the impact of The Fellowship’s financial support for low-income Israeli-Arab citizens, according to IFCJ founder and director Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. Instead, it came up with clanging bells and warning signs.

“The survey shows Israel should be caring more for its Arab citizens and investing in them the same way it does with its most vulnerable Jewish citizens, not only for moral reasons but also to counter the threat of political extremism and to promote patriotism. If we don’t invest in Israel’s citizens, ISIS will,” said IFCJ founder and director, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.

“We found a direct correlation between Israeli Arabs’ feelings of being treated equally to Jews and their sense of belonging to society and even their willingness to serve,” added Eckstein. “If we can change the numbers, we can avoid Israeli Arabs becoming a strategic threat.”

The IFCJ has invested more than $35 million on social welfare programs for Israeli Arabs in recent years, he said. Those investments included programs to help the elderly, children, and at-risk youth, and on drug abuse prevention, emergency financial aid, job empowerment for women, and other initiatives.

The survey found that among the low-income Israeli Arabs who felt they are being treated unfairly compared to poor Israeli Jews, only 20 percent said they “feel strongly or very strongly connected to Israel.”

Only 38 percent of Israeli Arabs who feel they lack equal rights in Israel said they would perform national service.

Of those who felt they were treated equally, 58 percent of Israeli Arabs said they would perform national service.

Rivlin warned a week ago (Jan. 18) that Israeli Arab teens are growing more enamored with becoming Da’esh operatives for the ISIS terror organization.

“The Islamic State is already here – that is no longer a secret,” Rivlin told participants at the ninth annual international conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). “I am not speaking about territories bordering the State of Israel – but within Israel itself.” He, too, added that it is in the best interest of Israel to offer its Arab population a better future than the fantasies promised by terror groups such as Da’esh.

Rivlin said it is in the best interest of the state to offer Israel’s Arabs a better future than that promised by groups such as Da’esh. “If children are growing up without a dream, without hope or without aspirations, with the feeling that their blood and their lives are of a lesser value in the State of Israel, then we must think of how to offer them a dream, hope and faith,” Rivlin said.

Hana Levi Julian

Final Stats Show Ukrainian Aliyah Rose 11 Percent in 2015

Thursday, December 24th, 2015


Aliyah from the Ukraine increased 11 percent this year compared with 2014, according to end-of–year statistics compiled by the Ministry of Absorption.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which has been offering cash payments to Jewish refugees from the Ukraine since last year, helped approximately 2,000 new immigrants move to Israel (olim). An additional IFCJ flight is scheduled to land at Ben Gurion Airport next week with 2543 new olim.

The total number of Olim from the Ukraine of 2015, as of mid-December, is 6,953, compared to 5,921 the year before. The biggest increase was in  January, February and March.

President of the IFCJ, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, added, “The fact that the number of Olim has increased, proves that the assumption about the demise of the traditional Aliyah is unfounded and that by using the right methods the number of Olim can increase even more next year.”

The statement was a barb at the Jewish Agency, which complained last March that the IFCJ’s program actually  is harming Aliyah:

The Agency said at the time:

Is the IFCJ prepared to offer cash to all immigrants from Ukraine, including the overwhelming majority who choose not to travel to Israel with them? Would the individuals they’ve managed to draw to their flights be quite as willing to forgo the Jewish Agency’s vital assistance if money weren’t a factor?

There’s something rather absurd about offering someone financial inducements to make a certain choice and then celebrating that choice as though it was made independently, without any connection to the monetary incentive.


Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

American Christians Donate $1,000 Each to Terror Wave Victims

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

(JNi.media) The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), led by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, is starting to grant the equivalent of $1,000 each to individuals or families who have been harmed by the wave of terrorist attacks against Jews.

Backed by an outpouring of support from Christians across the US, the fellowship is dispensing the emergency funds following a discussion with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and senior ministry officials. The aid will allow families who have been victimized in the current wave of stabbings, car attacks and shootings, to pay for hospital transportation, medical care, therapy, and lost wages.

“The ongoing wave of terror leads to many causalities whose normal life paths have been abruptly interrupted,” Eckstein said in a statement. “The victims and their families are faced with a new reality and difficult rehabilitation. Victims also face significant financial costs and we wish to support them as part of our commitment to the security of Israeli citizens during times of emergency.”

Eckstein thanked “the thousands of Christians supporters who are always there to help the citizens of Israel during difficult times, reminding us all that we are not alone.”

“The Jews are being murdered while too many leaders are standing idly by,” Fellowship donor Janet McKinney of Dalton, Ga. Said. “The Lord plainly says the nations who go against Israel will come under the wrath of the Lord. Other Innocent people, in other nations, who stand with Israel will also suffer at the hand of the poor choices those leaders make when they do not stand with Israel.”

In recent years, the International Fellowship of Christian and Jews has invested tens of millions of dollars to strengthen rescue services, hospitals, shelters, and direct aid to civilians in Israel. As part of its emergency support, the Fellowship has renovated more than 5,500 bomb shelters, founded more than 50 emergency centers in local municipalities, helped increase security for hospitals, and contributed seven MRI devices and life-saving trauma equipment to local hospitals.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/american-christians-donate-1000-each-to-terror-wave-victims/2015/10/14/

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