(JNS.org) More than 200 Ukrainian Jews arrived in Israel on Monday as part of an initiative sponsored by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) for Jewish refugees fleeing the violence in eastern Ukraine.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, head of the Israeli Ministry of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, and Ezra World Executive Director Danny Elinson greeted the new immigrants at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport.
IFCJ President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein has visited Ukraine several times over the past year to observe the increasingly dire situation of the country’s Jewish community. IFCJ has spent millions of dollars in emergency aid for Ukraine and putting together the flights to Israel.
In October, IFCJ announced it would significantly step up efforts to increase immigration to Israel, especially from countries in the former Soviet Union—hiring the former head of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s aliyah department, Eli Cohen, to head the initiative.
IFCJ is providing a special grant of $1,000 for each adult and $500 for each child for Ukrainian Jews who come to Israel before the end of the year. Another plane of Ukrainian Jews is expected to arrive in Israel on Dec. 30.