Despite travel bans, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has sponsored aliyah flights for 580 Jewish immigrants since February.

Even with all the global travel bans imposed due to the coronavirus, aliyah to Israel is continuing apace as another nine Jewish immigrants from Ukraine will arrive at Ben-Gurion International Airport early on Monday morning on a flight arranged by the Jewish Agency for Israel and sponsored by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ).

The immigrant families will join another 36 newly arrived Russian-speaking Jews for a two-week quarantine period in a hotel under special arrangements with the Israel government and the Jewish Agency, which are also being supported by the ICEJ.

Although flights have been grounded nearly everywhere in recent months, the ICEJ has worked in cooperation with the Jewish Agency to still bring 580 new Jewish immigrants on aliyah to Israel since February. This has included 465 Russian-speaking Jews arriving from various regions of the former Soviet republics, as well as 115 Ethiopian Jews making the journey home from Addis Ababa.

More than 100 of these newcomers immediately went into two-week quarantines as per the guidelines of the Israeli Ministry of Health due to the COVID-19 threat.

The ICEJ has been funding flights for the renewed Ethiopian aliyah since the Israeli government decision in 2015 to bring home the last remnant of this ancient community.

Meanwhile, a flight from St. Petersburg with 26 Russian Jewish olim on March 22 marked the 30th anniversary of the ICEJ’s sponsorship of aliyah from the former Soviet Union.

“Amid all the bad news spawned by the coronavirus, some of the best news out there is that Jews are still finding their way to Israel,” said ICEJ president Dr. Jürgen Bühler. “We are thrilled to be a part of this chapter in the modern-day ingathering of the Jewish people—even a pandemic brought the world to a standstill it could not stop the Jews from coming home to Israel.”

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