(JNi.Media) The first two French Jewish families to move to Israel since Friday’s ISIS terrorist attacks arrived Monday. “After the attacks, people tried not to leave their homes – it was scary,” said Daniel Ventura, who came with his wife and two young girls. “For two years we’ve lived with insecurity and wanted to make aliyah. I would not want my children to live, learn and get married in France.”
The two families were met by representatives of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport. The foundation is involved in helping more Jews from France immigrate to Israel.
Over the weekend, IFCJ founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, said his organization would help any French Jew who wants to make aliyah. At the same time, the fellowship announced it was expanding emergency security aid to French-Jewish communal institutions.
“Alongside millions of Christian supporters of Israel, we stand with the beleaguered Jews of France, whether by helping bring those who want to start new lives in Israel, or better protecting the French-Jewish community and its institutions,” said Eckstein. “The fellowship is committed to protecting Jewish communities in need around the world and to helping those seeking to immigrate.”
This weekend, IFCJ provided emergency aid of more than $86,000 to 25 synagogues and schools run by the Chabad Lubavitch movement across France, including in Paris and Toulouse, helping to beef up security by adding guards and more sophisticated security systems. The aid is part of more than $2 million the fellowship has been sending to Chabad and other Jewish communal groups in dozens of countries to bolster security in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai, India terror attacks.
Since the start of the Ukraine civil war, IFCJ has helped more than 1,600 Ukrainian Jews immigrate to Israel, with plans to bring 400 more by the end of 2015.
In addition to the families who arrived in Israel Monday, IFCJ plans to bring a special flight of French Jews to Israel at the end of November. For those French Jews who wish to move to Israel, the fellowship provides information fairs and preparatory seminars in France, guidance for six months once they arrive in Israel, employment counseling, one-time financial aid or six months of rental support, tuition assistance for job training, financial support to help them learn Hebrew, material aid—furniture, appliances and medical treatment, and private tutors and informal education for children.