Oleh number 3.3 million arrives in Israel specifically during “Aliyah Week”

In a special charter flight belonging to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), and the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption, 240 new immigrants arrived from Ukraine today, “Aliyah Day” (October 26, 2020), breaking a daily immigration record since the outbreak of corona. 

The olim were given a celebratory welcome by the Minister of Aliyah and Absorption, Pnina Tamano-Shata, and IFCJ President Yael Eckstein, in commemoration of Aliyah Week in Israel.

“During this Aliyah Week, we are proud to salute both new and veteran olim,’ said Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata. “As Minister of Aliyah and Absorption, it is my privilege to welcome immigrant number 3.3 million, at this symbolic and essential time for Israeli society as a whole, including olim who make a significant contribution to the advancement and development of the State of Israel.”  

“These immigrants are a blessing and a tremendous reinforcement for Israeli society and its economy, and we are proud of the role we play in bringing them to Israel, together with thousands of other Jews from around the world," said IFCJ President Yael Eckstein.

Symbolically, the 3.3 millionth oleh immigrated to Israel to mark "Aliyah Week" alongside 240 new immigrants from Ukraine. They landed in Israel today, on a charter flight consisting of three Israir flights organized by IFCJ. This marks a daily record since the corona crisis began last March. These olim join more than 11,000 others who immigrated to Israel from 85 countries around the world since the outbreak of the corona crisis.

Among the excited olim were Karina and Yevgeny Ushkov, whose love for each other and for Israel was cemented when Yevgeny, in a surprise proposal, asked Karina to marry him on a visit to the Western Wall when they were visiting relatives in Israel about a year ago. "It was very moving and very symbolic, I couldn't stop the tears of excitement," Karina said. "Yevgeny chose to do it in Israel, and in a place so sacred and important to the Jews - at the Kotel. Of course I agreed, and at that moment I decided, and Yevgeny of course agreed, that we should make aliyah, establish our home in Israel, and raise our children as sabras.” 

”The Israeli government has placed the immigration of Diaspora Jews and their return to the ancestral homeland at the top of its political and national priorities, along with encouraging immigration from around the world and the successful absorption of immigrants in Israel,” said Minister Shata.  “Both new and veteran olim are part of our national pride. They leverage tremendous social and economic growth for Israeli society, and during this Aliyah Week, we are proud to acknowledge their contributions as olim in Israel. It’s a privilege for me to encourage immigration from all over the world in a productive partnership with the Fellowship and other immigration organizations, as we prepare for significant waves of immigration in the next five years.”

“This exciting day is a sign of a recovery in the field of aliyah to Israel, and a future leap that we anticipate will begin as early as 2021,” added Eckstein. “The olim are a blessing and a tremendous reinforcement for Israeli society and its economy, and we are proud of the right given to us to help bring them to Israel with thousands more Jews above the world."

Among the new olim arriving today are 52 children. The olim will be absorbed in 37 cities throughout Israel, with 102 going to live in the northern part of the country, 99 in the central region, and 40 in the south. Haifa is the leading city, with 42 immigrants choosing to live there. 

The Ministry of Immigration and Absorption will hold a variety of events to raise the flag of recognition for aliyah, and to show appreciation for immigrants and the pride felt by the Israeli government in bringing them to Israel. As part of Aliyah Week, Minister Shata will present a national plan for the years 2020-2025, which she formulated and initiated when she took office. On the occasion of "Aliyah Week,”  the Ministry of Aliyah and Absorption will hold a special conference tomorrow to raise and honor the Aliyah flag, with the participation of IFCJ CEO Gad Ben Ari, and others who work on behalf of aliyah. 

The IFCJ has been operating for three decades in the sphere of aliyah, and to date, has invested over 2 billion shekel, which has already helped more than 750,000 immigrants come to Israel. At the outset, the Fellowship worked by contributing funds to the Jewish Agency, and in 2014, it established an independent immigration system that has already brought over 25,000 immigrants from over 30 countries around the world to Israel. IFCJ provides each immigrant with a generous assistance package that includes financial grants and social support during their absorption in Israel.