World Jewish News
211 new immigrants arrived in Israel from embattled eastern Ukraine
Following the increase of hostilities on the Russian-Ukrainian border in recent weeks, 211 new immigrants from Ukraine arrived this week at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, most of them from the embattled regions in the Eastern part of the country.
The olim arrived on a flight sponsored by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ). It is the 19th flight the organization has sponsored since the fighting between Russia and Ukraine began.
The youngest members of the group were 6-month-old infants. The oldest new immigrant was an 82-year-old woman.
The new immigratnts will join the roughly 4,000 Olim from Ukraine who have already made aliyah with the IFCJ since 2014.
Among the olim there are 37 children who will begin their studies in Israeli schools in two days, and out of the 37, nine of them will be starting first grade.
One of the children, Natalia S., who arrived in Israel with her mother and son, said that she was forced to leave the city of Marinka in the Donetsk region in Eastern Ukraine after the extensive bombing in the city that began in April 2014.
The building where her family lived was bombed and some of their neighbors were killed. Natalia explained that her family's Jewishness was kept secret by her grandmother who had survived the Holocaust, while her husband, Natalia's grandfather, was in a concentration camp. As a result, she says, "we knew we had Jewish roots but did not have the documents to prove it."
According to Natalia, one of the times the family visited the Holocaust Museum one of the employees at the site advised her as to what archive she should search in to find documents that would prove their Jewish roots.
"Because of the advice we were given, we went later to the archive and found my grandmother's documents. In the documents, we read that she had changed her name and her father's name, from "Alia" and "Avraham" to "Lisa" and "Peter".
Natalia, her mother, and her son are planning to settle in the city of Acco, in northern Israel.