Photo Credit: Courtesy of Israeli embassy, Romania
Israeli consul saved 100 Jewish orphans, March 1, 2022.

Roni Shabtai, the Israeli consul in Romania, on Tuesday night helped a group of about 100 Jewish children from an orphanage in the Ukrainian city of Zhytomyr to cross the border into Romania.

The orphans traveled by bus from Zhytomyr, a distance of almost 430 miles. The journey took two days due to numerous forced stops.


It was reported that some of the children did not have proper documentation for the crossing and required the consul’s help and the goodwill of the governor of Suceava district in Romania to leave Ukraine safely. The governor’s late wife was treated for cancer in Israel four years ago.

The children will stay in the city of Cluj-Napoca in northwestern Romania––the unofficial capital of Transylvania––and from there continue to Israel.

Zhytomyr, a city in the north of the western half of Ukraine, was home to many Yiddish writers in the 1800s, including Avrom Ber Gotlober and Mendele Mocher Sforim. Israel’s poet laureate Haim Nachman Bialik spent his childhood in this city, from the age of 6 to 17. Tel Aviv’s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff, served in the Russian army there and was later imprisoned for revolutionary activity.


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