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Stories From The Field

Stories of Jewish people we’ve helped make aliyah (emigrate to Israel).

April 15, 2018 - The Blind and the Lame – Argentina

By Marcelo B, Ezra Argentina

“Behold, I am bringing them from the north country, and I will gather them from the remote parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and she who is in labor with child together; a great company, they will return here.” Jeremiah 31:8

The story of Natalio is very precious. He is blind and faced many difficulties in life – but he faced those difficulties with dignity. In spite of his limitations, he worked in an Institute where blind people can interact with others with the same condition and realize they are not alone in facing their illness.

I went to visit him in his humble home in a very poor neighborhood. While waiting for him I was able to speak with his family. His wife was very kind and we started to chat and, as always, the question came up – why are we so dedicated in working for Israel. I answered: “I don’t know if you believe in God, but I believe that God hasn’t forgotten Israel, His people.” She told me that life had taught her there is no God, and then Natalio arrived and we began to speak a little about his life. Natalio’s daughters and grandchildren live in Israel, a brother of his died in the Six Day War there. Natalio was concerned that his son would barely be able to care for one person (his mother) let alone two and this affected his decision to leave and join his daughters in Israel.

If it hadn’t been for Ezra’s help it would have been very difficult for him to gather the resources to join his children and grandchildren. He told me, “You know, in such a wicked world, it’s good for me to know there are good people. You should be in the news!” I answered him, “It’s a privilege for us who know the God of Israel and to know that this God wants His people home.” We hugged – and even prayed together despite his atheism.

We trust a seed was sown – and believe that one day that initial spark will open Natalio’s heart to the God of Israel.

Natalio made Aliyah in January 2018.

April 5, 2018 - Tatyana T from Kiev

Tatyana is now 87 years old and couldn’t even imagine that in her old age she would again have to flee from the horrors of war as in her childhood. She is leaving Lugansk, a city in which she lived happily for 65 years.

Tatyana still has memories of those terrible events when the Second World War began and as she fled to the Urals (in Russia) with their mother and thus were saved. She was 11 years old then and she remembers the news that her grandparents had been shot because they were Jewish. Then there was her father’s funeral – she was told that he had been killed fighting for his Motherland. She remembers when returning to his native city, her mother had to work hard for the good of the Motherland and yet they were very poor and barely survived.

Despite this difficult time in her childhood, Tatyana managed to study to become a Doctor. She married and gave birth to two beautiful children. Tatyana’s husband, Mikhail, was an academic and expected his children to be intelligent, educated people. Her daughter is also a doctor and her son, an architect. The children and their families live and work in Kiev. They are successful and quite well off.

When the grandchildren grew up, they took advantage of their Jewish roots and made Aliyah. The elder granddaughter confirmed her diploma as a doctor and now works as a paediatrician in Israel and the grandson is serving in the Army. Tatyana is very proud of them!

Tatyana has long dreamed of living in Israel. Many of friends have made Aliyah and were very happy but her husband was against it. He didn’t want to leave Ukraine and his beloved city of Lugansk. In the end he had to leave – the city their friends, their apartment – when the shelling began. The elderly couple went to their children in Kiev.

Mikhail was very anxious about the move and what was happening in Ukraine. He soon died of a heart attack aged 86. Tatyana was very sad but now two years have passed since his death and she decided to fulfil her old dream. She is going to Israel. Although she is old Tatyana wants to live the rest of her days in the land of her ancestors, in the country to where the Most High is gathering His people. She also wants her children to join her there and believes that this will happen before too long.

March 15, 2018 - Karina G from Buenos Aires

Karina G made Aliyah from Argentina in April 2017 with help from Ezra. She wrote to us very recently giving an update on her life since making Aliyah. Her letter is below:

Some years ago, I came to Israel for some months to work as a volunteer and study Hebrew. I have always loved the language and I made an effort since I was a child to learn it the best I could. In those months I felt I had arrived at my real home and it was very difficult for me to return. After 4 years I decided I had to try, so I made Aliyah.

During the first months I deepened my language studies in order to go to the university. Now I am working, and I plan to study next year.

Since I arrived I found many people willing to help me. While working as a waitress the customers always asked me where I came from and how I knew so much Hebrew. Many of them offered help me find a job or an apartment.

The relatives that live here are bit remote in my family tree, but they look after me and try to keep me in good company at all times. For my birthday, for example, they gathered 20 people!

I feel at home, I am always learning and I am very happy.

Thank you so much for the help you have given me.

March 5, 2018 - Vladimir and Maka P from Tbilisi, Georgia

Tamaz has autism and was not getting the care he needed in Tbilisi, Georgia. Their love for their son was the primary motivation for Vladimir and Maka to make the move to Israel. They wanted him to get the best help possible and said, “Israel has good experience in this type of education”.

Vladimir and Maka had many expenses in their process of making Aliyah (returning to Israel). But thanks to the faithfulness of Ezra International donors their needs were met. They said they were “ready to spread the news and tell other people about Ezra too”.

February 15, 2018 - Oleg and Viktoria T from Krivoi Rog

Oleg and Viktoria made Aliyah with their son, Daniil. Their story began with an invitation from the Jewish Agency to attend a meeting with representatives from different cities in Israel. They also visited relatives in Israel and liked it very much then – so the decision to make Aliyah was already ripening in their minds.

Oleg worked at a metallurgical factory and at this meeting there was a representative of the company ISCAR in Karmiel. ISCAR specialises in the production of carbide and ceramic cutting tools for the metalworking industry. Today ISCAR is a transnational company – one of the world leaders in the field of the production of innovative, high quality metal cutting tools. Knowing this information, Oleg and Viktoria did not think twice! They fell in love with Israel and its people very much. They were struck by everything – the way people relate to each other; the importance that’s given to an individual.

The couple expect stability in life and to have the opportunity to travel. The opportunity to give their son a good education is also a factor. It’s hard for Oleg and Viktoria to part with their relatives but they are already not only promising to come on a visit but also to make their Aliyah.

Viktoria and Oleg are very thankful to Ezra for help with transport – they were taken twice to Dnepr for consular checks and then, on the day of departure, to the airport. They were grateful too for the moral support and advice they received.

February 5, 2018 - Alexei and Irina K from Novosibirsk

Alexei and his wife Irina made Aliyah from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. They are going to Israel to help their daughter. Alexei tells their story:

We are making Aliyah in order to help our daughter, Anastasia, with her baby. Anastasia is going back to work and she wanted to send her daughter to a nursery. We decided to make this move and help her. Anastasia is our younger daughter. She travelled to Israel the first time on the ‘Taglit’ programme – and met a young man there. After that she went to study Hebrew for 8 months and decided to stay.

I experienced some anti-Semitism in my youth. I was born in Kazakhstan as my Father was evacuated there during the war. There was a lot of noise about railway construction at that time and I was very interested. I enrolled in the student department but I was rejected. The Chairman said: “Your surname is a Jewish surname. We don’t need you!” It was very insulting to me, especially as my grandfather Mark fought in the World War as a Colonel.

Ezra came to our home and took us to the airport – late at night. They helped us to pack our luggage and bring it right to the check in counter. We said our farewells there with words of encouragement.

We are feeling very calm. There’s nothing difficult for us in leaving here. Our elder daughter stays here but we will visit with Anastasia and our granddaughter.

Dear folks, thank you for your help in that uneasy task. It would have been impossible without you.

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