Stories of Jewish people we’ve helped make aliyah (emigrate to Israel).
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Lyudmilla is 68 years old and a chemistry teacher. She tells her story:
Our children made Aliyah in the 90’s – my son in 1992 and my daughter in 1994. They both left on Jewish Agency programs. So now I’m going to my relatives in Israel and I will help my daughter with her children.
I turned to Ezra for the first time when I went to the Consul in Novosibirsk although my friends had already given me calendars that Ezra produced. Ezra paid for my railway tickets and gave advice on how to prepare for the meeting with the Consul. When I received my visa I asked Ezra to take me to the airport because I was leaving at night. Actually they took me to the airport twice because my flight was detained for almost five hours! They took me home again so that I could rest. They also helped us all to get our luggage.
You do great work! Thank you very much for all the support. Without your help it would have been much more difficult for me.
Yulia and Evgenii made Aliyah with their son, Nikita. The couple knew about the possibility of making Aliyah for a long time. So far life had been more or less stable and they didn’t want to leave although Yulia has many relatives from her father’s line who live in Israel already for a long time. Yulia has an older daughter – she is 4th generation and is 17 years old so she no longer falls under the law of return. She is studying at the Jewish Institute for girls here and it was necessary that she become independent in order to stay on here by herself. After a while Yulia and Evgenii will try to file documents for the restoration of the family.
The main reason for their decision to leave is that the couple want a better future for their son, Nikita – stability and a peaceful sky over their heads. They are tired of working here for only pennies which you can’t really call wages as they don’t allow you to live normally. They go to the city of Akko where they have friends. According to Yulia: We want to take a step into a new, very interesting life, as well as have the opportunity to make our live brighter and better.”
Yulia’s family did experience some anti-semitism. Yulia’s father had to change his name. At birth he was given the name ‘Moses’ and became Mikhail. His relatives were shot in Dnepropetrovsk at a place of mass shootings. In general a lot of family members were tortured and killed. Yulia was called ‘Jewess’ at school because of her appearance and there were many conflicts related to this.
Yulia and Evgenii heard about Ezra in the Jewish Agency and they are very grateful for all the help provided, for moral support, financial assistance and for helping them get to the airport with all their luggage. They fly out in great spirits, the only thing upsetting them is that their daughter is left here.
Mikhail and Viktoria (Vika) made Aliyah along with their daughter Emma. Mikhail tells their story.
We thought about making our Aliyah for a long time, weighing all things, but we couldn’t make the final decision! For me Aliyah is a return to our historical homeland because my mother, grandfather and great grandfather were all Jewish. Now the understanding has come that while we are still young and while our daughter is small this is the time to make our move! Everyone likes it there and our friends will support us. Vika is also Jewish but her documents are not complete. We have friends who have lived in Israel now for almost four years.
Two years ago we turned to the Consul. Our documents were in order but a return was necessary when our daughter was born. The third time we went to the Consul we received our visas. In that time we’ve been preparing ourselves – studying Hebrew for 18 months.
Our plans in Israel? First of all we are ready to learn the language and then get some education depending on the local needs. We are ready to retrain. Vika is a good lawyer and I’m an economist. I’m told my profession is in demand.
Our family has suffered anti-semitism. My great grandfather on my mother’s side was taken away in the 1930s and shot somewhere near Saratov. At the age of 12 my grandfather, Mikhail, became an orphan. My mother suffered humiliation at school and later wasn’t given the opportunity to study in University because of being Jewish. Vika’s grandmother with her three sisters and children were in a concentration camp. They lived near Brest. The parents were shot but the children managed to escape from the death camp. Her grandmother did not talk about this but always wore clothes with long sleeves to hide the camp number on her arm. Vika’s mother married a Jewish man. I worked in the Jewish Agency and was faced with the fact that at some events the skinheads would intimidate us.
The hardest thing for us in leaving is parting with our relatives who are staying behind. Our parents are 67 years old and we hope that later they will come and join us. It’s also quite hard leaving everything we are used to!
We are so grateful to you for the tremendous help you gave us!! You have made the difficulties involved in moving much easier. You provided three cars to take our family and luggage to the airport, paid for the packing (secure taping) of our suitcases. Also you gave us advice and contacts in Israel. It’s cool! Thanks to everyone who helped us. Relocation is very stressful and it was very meaningful that someone responded at such a moment to help us. It’s amazing and incredible that there is such an organisation which shows an interest in the fate of Jews when we leave for Israel. We are very grateful to you for calling us, for your encouragement and helping us to correctly prepare our luggage. Thank you for everything.
Pavel tells their story:
Circumstances forced us to make the decision to leave. Oksana has a cerebral vascular disease which cannot be cured in Ukraine. If it wasn’t for this illness we would have taken a much longer time to think about going. Oksana has been treated for three years but the condition has only got worse. There doesn’t seem to be any normal treatment here in Ukraine. So we quickly passed the Consular check, gathered everything and got ready to leave. Ezra helped us to speed up the whole process.
We really hope that Oksana will get help in Israel and when there we will do everything possible to make our life better than in Ukraine.
Ezra supported us very well financially and quickly helped us get our passports for departure. Thank you so much. We are young, we believe that everything will work out okay for us, especially as we’re going to the glorious land of Israel! Thank you for all that you are doing!
Ivan and Aleksandra are refugees from Lugansk. When the bombing started in Lugansk they fled to Kiev with the hopes that they would return soon. Ivan in Lugansk had his own shop selling plumbing, Elena worked as an accountant and Evera attended school. And then life stopped. They fled, taking few things along with them. They left almost everything behind. Aleksandra’s mother stayed in Lugansk as she was very sick and there was no way she could go with them. Despite being in temporary housing and struggling financially it became urgent to bring Aleksandra’s mother to live with them as she was getting worse.
However, the owner of the apartment they were living in asked them to leave as they didn’t want to rent an apartment to a sick person!! So they put her in hospital and the Head Physician agreed that she would live as long as the Most High gave her time. A month later she died. A big loss but life must go on …
Ivan himself comes from Russia and he knew that his grandmother was Jewish through the mother’s line. They had only a couple of documents which Ivan took to the synagogue for consultation. He was told to leave the documents and to return in a week. When he returned to the synagogue, the documents were gone. He argued with the employees, but no one helped. There was no explanation as to what had happened. There were his only documents at that time and their only hope instantly disappeared. Aleksandra said that it was a very difficult time. And then she prayed, and asked the Almighty for help. The Lord is never late. They were offered a job, created a hostel for migrants from the war zone, lived in a multi-room apartment and waited to see what would happen.
At the moment, we met. It was necessary to do a lot of work to gather the package of documents for the consular check. And there was a big obstacle for leaving: Aleksandra and Ivan lived in a civil marriage. It was necessary to legalize their relationship. They organized a modest wedding on March 20, 2016. When they sent the necessary documents from Russia, they signed up for the consul. The long-awaited "YES" was received, and it was necessary to come for the visa after one year of the marriage and not earlier.
All this year we communicated. We ordered foreign passports for each member of the family, and additional documents for which we paid. They were very grateful for all the help received from Ezra.
Two years ago Zinyat’s daughter went to Israel on an educational program. She is still studying in Israel and likes it very much. Zinyat has many other relatives in Israel as well so for her, Aliyah is an opportunity to live closer to her relatives. Zinyat has visited Israel and liked it there very much – especially the level of development of social work and attitudes towards the younger generation.
Zinyat’s first goal is to learn Hebrew and to find a job. She would like, if possible, to work in her profession. In Russia Zinyat worked in a construction laboratory and as the construction industry in Israel is developing she hopes to find a job in her speciality. And, of course, Zinyat dreams that everything will work out well in her daughter’s life.
Although it’s hard for Zinyat to leave the life she is used to in Russia, she is optimistic about overcoming the difficulties associated with settling in Israel.
Ezra assisted Zinyat with the preparation and payment of her international passport.
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