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October 10, 2015 / 27 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘International Fellowship of Christians and Jews’

110 Ukraine Jews Arrive on IFJC Refugee Rescue Flight

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

A special refugee rescue flight sponsored by the IFJC (International Fellowship of Christians and Jews) brought 110 Ukrainian Jews on their aliyah trip home to Israel on Tuesday.

Among the group was the husband of the late Irina Shelkayeba, killed at the beginning of February by a direct hit from a rocket that slammed into her home as she was cooking. The attack on the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk was launched by pro-Russian separatists.

Irina’s husband and the rest of the family members who came with him on aliyah were met at Ben Gurion International Airport by her niece Liora Nissim. It was Nissim who had also assisted the family with their decision to leave Ukraine and move to Israel.

“I made aliyah myself 17 years ago as part of the Na’ale program, while my family remained in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine,” she explained.

“They lived next to the airport, an area in which the difficult battles were waging. This was continued on and on and they waited all this time for it to finally end. It is hard to leave home, especially when war is raging outside. Then the rocket fell and killed my aunt. The house was ruined. They remained with no property.

“I started aiding them from Israel. I heard the IFCJ is organizing refugee flights and I immediately called. Their representative contacted my broken family that fled under heavy shelling to the city of Dnieper and a month and a half later they were on their way to Israel”.

Tuesday’s flight was the third sponsored by IFJC since December, totaling 560 Jews rescued from Ukraine alone.

The organization says it has decided to increase its efforts in bringing home the thousands of Jews who are in distress in countries around the world, in the years to come. IFJC is supplementing the standard aid package granted to new immigrants in Israel, since many of the newcomers are battle refugees, and others were harshly affected by the economic state that Ukraine was suffering. In addition, IFJC reached out to local mayors across Israel to advocate for special support to the newcomers in their towns.

“Every generation has its own miracle of Exodus,” IFJC president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein said. “After years of involvement in the bringing of the newcomers from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia, the IFJC is excited to be a central activist in the enterprise of rescuing the Jews of Ukraine that experience over a year now an ongoing emergency crisis.

“The IFJC wishes a happy Redemption Holiday to all the olim, and promises to stand by them till they are fully absorbed in Israel.”

Limmud FSU Gets Major Boost in Collaboration with Fellowship

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Saturday night, two organizations committed to strengthening Jewish identity and connection to Israel, announced a new global and long-term partnership. Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union) and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (the Fellowship) are joining together in order to enhance and develop the activities of Limmud FSU and expand the organization worldwide, according to a joint release.

Limmud FSU is a nonprofit founded eight years ago by Chaim Chesler, former treasurer of the Jewish Agency; Sandra Cahn, philanthropist from New York; and Professor Michael Chlenov of Moscow, to serve young Russian-speaking Jews around the world. The organization operates in seven countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, USA, Canada and Israel. Key partners include the JDC, philanthropist Matthew Bronfman, Aaron Frankel, Diane Wohl, UJA-Federation of New York, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, Ministry of Education, the Jewish Agency and others.

The Fellowship was founded in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein to promote understanding between Jews and Christians and build broad support for Israel and other shared concerns

As part of the new collaboration, the Fellowship will be a key partner in Limmud FSU, and will provide funding that will allow the project to hold conferences around the world, among other activities, and engage more participants, most of whom are young Russian-speaking Jews.

President of the Fellowship Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein will join Limmud FSU’s leadership as dean and member of the executive committee, alongside Matthew Bronfman, chairman of the International Steering Committee, and Aaron Frenkel, Limmud FSU president.

Bronfman and Rabbi Eckstein made the official announcement during the Limmud FSU conference which is currently taking place in Parsippany, N.J.

The conference is the largest gathering of Russian-speaking Jews in North America, attracting over 800 young participants from the U.S. and Canada. There are an estimated 750,000 to 1 million Russian-American Jews in the U.S., half of whom are living in New York and New Jersey. The entire conference is organized by young volunteer participants from the Russian-Jewish community.

Within the framework of the new partnership agreement, which was signed for an initial three years, Limmud FSU has already begun to build an infrastructure for activities among Russian-speaking communities in Australia and the West Coast of the United States.

The first Limmud FSU conferences will take place in those locations in 2015. The new partnership will also allow the organizations to hold eight conferences over the course of 2014 (an increase of 25% over last year), including the first Canadian conference, to be held this October in Toronto.

Limmud FSU was established, the release explains, to offer young Russian Jews around the world a unique and independent community, an educational and cultural framework that helps strengthen Jewish identity and connection to Israel, deepen involvement in Jewish communal life, and empower activists to build the next generation of Russian-speaking Jewish leadership in the Diaspora and in Israel.

Limmud FSU has revolutionized pluralistic Jewish engagement of Russian-speaking Jews, who are often described as marginally engaged in Jewish life, and is making a great impact in strengthening Jewish identity through a unique educational experience of Jewish history and culture.

The organization seeks to renew the tradition of Jewish learning with conferences and festivals of Jewish and Israeli study, arranged and produced by volunteers. All conferences and festivals offer diverse and multi-disciplinary programs including lectures, workshops, master classes, musical performances and cultural events in three languages: Russian, English and Hebrew.

“We are proud of the new strategic partnership with the Fellowship, and hope that it will allow us to grow and expand our important activities among Russian-speaking Jewish communities around the world,” said Matthew  Bronfman, of Limmud FSU.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/limmud-fsu-gets-major-boost-in-collaboration-with-fellowship/2014/03/30/

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