Israel is marking its annual Yom HaAliyah (“Aliyah Day”) with an entire week of incoming flights filled with new Jewish immigrants with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) actively involved in this effort by sponsoring flights arranged by the Jewish Agency.

To that end, 105 SELA students from the former Soviet republics are coming ahead of their parents to study in Israel.

The SELA program enables Jewish youths who have completed high school to take part in pre-aliyah programs and then move to Israel, learn Hebrew and attend university while waiting for their families to arrive at a later time.

The ICEJ  assisted with funding bus transportation, summer camps, documentation efforts and other preparation costs for another group of 22 SELA students from Belarus who also landed on Wednesday at Ben-Gurion International Airport.

In addition, the Christian Embassy funded the flights for 50 members of the group of more than 230 Bnei Menashe immigrants being brought from India by Shavei Israel, who also arrived on Oct. 13.

In 2016, the Knesset established the Yom HaAliyah to celebrate the Jewish people’s return to their ancestral homeland in modern times. This annual holiday was set for the seventh day of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, which ties it to the weekly Torah portion of “Lech Lecha,” where God commanded Abraham in Genesis 12:1 to “get thee up” from his own country and go to the Land of Israel.

With these latest arrivals, the ICEJ has sponsored aliyah flights for 1,468 Jewish immigrants from more than a dozen countries so far in 2021, despite the constraints and challenges of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“On behalf of millions of Christians worldwide, we join with Israel in celebrating ‘Aliyah Day,’ which marks the miraculous modern-day return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland,” said ICEJ president Jürgen Bühler. “And to properly honor this occasion, it is only fitting that we help bring more Jews home to Israel this very week.”


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