Shalom Life | May 17, 2014

Ukrainian Aliyah to Israel Up Significantly

2014 has seen an almost 142% increase in immigration from the troubled, unstable region

By: Graham Sigurdson

Published: May 5th, 2014 in News » Israel

Ukrainian Aliyah to Israel Up Significantly

On Sunday, a group of 19 Ukrainian Jews emigrated to Israel amidst the growing tensions in the country. Tensions which have led to a rise in anti-Semitic actions.

The group consisted of three families and three single women. Their arrival was arranged by the Jewish Agency for Israel, with funds being donated by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem.

In a statement, the ICEJ Executive Director Jürgen Bühler noted that “The unfolding crisis in Ukraine has meant an even more uncertain future for the Jewish community there, and we have acted swiftly once again to bring needy and endangered Jews home from this troubled region. It will be a privilege for our staff to welcome this first group home on Sunday,” with the ICEJ adding that it had been “raising funds from Christians worldwide in recent weeks,” collecting enough to bring some 100 Jews to Israel.

2014 has seen an almost 142% increase in immigration from Ukraine to Israel with 800 arriving from January to April, and with over 200 signing up for May. The Jewish Agency for Israel noted that the figures did not include those who arrived as tourists and later completed a full immigration process.

Speaking on the recent trend of anti-Semitic attacks, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden noted that “Just as corruption can have no place in the new Ukraine, neither can anti-Semitism or bigotry,” adding “Let me say that again, neither can anti-Semitism or bigotry. No place. None. Zero. The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms all threats and attacks Ukrainian Jewish communities as well as Roma and others.”

Just last week, the Jewish mayor of Kharkiv was flown to Israel for emergency medical treatment following an assassination attempt.

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