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April 6, 2014 1:10 pm

Ukrainian Jewish Immigration to Israel Rises 70 Percent Amid Instability

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Former Israeli minister and political prisoner, Natan Sharansky. Photo: Wiki Commons.

JNS.orgUkrainian Jewish immigration to Israel has risen 70 percent in 2014 amid the recent political upheaval in that country.

According to the Jewish Agency for Israel, 375 new immigrants from Ukraine arrived in the first three months of 2014, compared to 221 in the same period in 2013.

More than 100 new immigrants have come from Odessa alone, the Ukrainian Black Sea city where nearly 30,000 Jews live and can move to Israel under the Law of Return. Before leaving for Israel, the Jewish Agency and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews held a model Passover seder, like the one they will celebrate when they arrive in Israel in a few weeks. Both organizations also pledged further emergency financial assistance to Ukrainian Jews.

“The immigrants’ choice to come to Israel on the eve of Passover and build their home and their children’s future has symbolic meaning,” Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said.

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  • I have to apologise here! I get quite vexed when I see the deliberate attempt by my own Christian brethren to denigrate further the Jewish People, because they are Jews. As for the 2,000 year antisemitism we dredge up, especially around Easter, Jesus took hold of the Cup as demanded by the Father. So it is God who put Jesus before a Death Sentence, not the Jewish People!

  • James David Tyler

    Oranizations that aid anyone with a Jewish background living in the Ukraine should begin to seek ways of returning to Israel. The Ukraine is anti-Semitic and it will only become more so if the USSR continue to have control over it. Thee are many different groups, both Jewish and Christian, who will endeavour to aid the return to Israel of those who wish to make Aliyah. The borders of the Ukraine can be closed very quickly so that none will be able to leave. Others have said it and i will repeat it God is calling all His own people to return to Israel, it is in spite of the troubles that exist, the safest place for any Jew to live. Even here in England we have trouble at times with anti Semitic groups much to our shame.

  • EG

    I wonder how many non-Jewish Ukrainians will take advantage of the opportunity to get into Israel like the last Russian wave of immigrants did.

  • This is what many American Jews will not help with!
    You support Israel? Prove it and help with this!

    The longer it takes to fund the Israel Longhorn Project, the more ranch land will be stolen, the more farmers and ranchers will go bankrupt and more families and ranchers will be murdered. Once the land is stolen it is almost impossible to get it back, once a life is taken it is impossible to get it back; this is the very land that you bought for Israel through the JNF.

    Israeli Ranches are being attacked, their land being stolen and their passive European cattle are being mutilated and killed by local Arabs and by natural predators, wolves and jackals. Israeli European beef cattle are incompatible with Israel’s desert environment. This has resulted in many problems including high calf losses, (as high as 30%). Israel needs desert cattle that fits its environment and can defend it’s self and it’s calves. That breed of cattle is Texas Longhorn.

    • crawford amery

      How about breeding locusts? They’re very nutritious and absolutely kosher too!

  • Jeffrey Cheah

    In the Book of Isaiah it was written: “I will say to the north ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not keep them back! Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth. Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” These words were said by the God of Israel and witnessed by Isaiah the prophet. The God of Israel is the God of ALL NATIONS. People, TODAY do not believe in God, they are atheists, agnostics, free thinkers and believing in a one -god or multi-gods do not understand the truth and mystery of the One Universal God who created Israel and his covenant to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob cannot be broken!
    Ukraine was formerly under the rule of Communist Russia and Russia up till the close of the 20th century was never sympathetic to the Jews and since Ukraine has inherited the vestiges of anti-Semitism from the Russian era, such prejudices would not be easily wiped off from this generation so easily. It is thus better for the Jews in Ukraine to leave and move to Israel. In fact, this is the divine plan of God for the Jews to dwell in the land which God has promised them. This migration of the Jews from Ukraine back to Israel is what I see as the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah and Jeremiah, the prophet who came after him.

  • “Good Jews don’t support Israel”, this was a newspaper headline in England. It could put their lives in danger on the streets of England. In America it is true for different reason. Many America Rabbi’s and Jews have divided minds, half of it supports Israel and other half supports the Palestinians. My question? Supporting Palestinians to do what? Kill more Jews, Israelis or their Arab brothers?

    • Stefan Inzelstein

      If it wasn’t for Israel people would still spit in our faces.

      Your ignorance is pitiful.Never mind your poor English.

      • Ed Clark

        You’re way too angry. Take a few deep breaths & count to 1,000 b4 you shoot your mouth off in such an excessive, adolescent & self-deprecating way.
        Good luck,

        • EG

          You’re way too Liberal. Your by-stander mentality reflects the indifference of the International community on the future and welfare of Israel.

          And if you’re not angry, you really have no idea what’s going on.

        • Rein in your horns there a bit Ed. Who do you expect to take a deep breath when Jews have been marginalised, pogromised and Murdered for who they are!

      • Even with the State of Israel Jews are victimised. Until Country’s adopt a more rigorous rejection o fall antisemitic hatred, Jews will face worse than being spat at!

  • esther noodelman

    Natan Sharansky deserves the ultimate praise that the percentage of Ukranian Jewish Aliya to Israel has increased by 70 % under his direction. The most recent olim must be very excited to spend their first Pesach in Israel.
    Natan Sharansky in his quiet,determined and dedicated fashion always makes a difference whenever he is handed a job to be done.

    Kol Hakavod! We salute you,Natan! May you go from strength to strength!

    • Batyah

      It is with the greatest of esteem for Natan Sharansky…but Esther…to me…it is the Ukranian/Russian anti-semitic DNA which I hold responsible for the recent Aliyah to Israel! When the Chief Rabbi of Kiev tells the local Jews to virtually run and hide…I thought…will the Ukraine be better for the Jews when they emerge from hiding??? I say, “shame” on these Jews who did not run toward Israel but ran away from the Ukraine. This time they are lucky that there is an Israel to receive them. This Aliyah is of no credit to the Jews fleeing…but only to those funding and assisting them and to the State of Israel! Were these Uki Jews so damn comfortable in the Ukraine until now? My parents knew to flew anti-semitic Ukraine before WWII…that’s how we survived! Where were these Jews since 1948? Did they prefer serving in the Russian army over the Israeli IDF? These olim, at least, realize they were spared this time. I offer them no comfort nor praise…it is ISRAEL who earns praise for standing ready to absorb them. And, WOE to the foolish bothers and sisters who deem themselves more Ukrainian than Jewish…there will come the day when their neighbors will remind them who they are.

      • Batyah

        CORRECTION: I wish to correct my questioning the Ukrainian Jews regarding not having made Aliyah to Israel as far back as 1948. I stand corrected. Under the Soviet Union they were unable to join their sisters and brother (although their sisters and brothers worldwide worked diligently on their behalf to ransom them with bribery via the Dutch embassy, through “family” letter sent from Israel), lobbying Congress, etc. HOWEVER, once emancipated from the Soviet Union on August 24, 1991, where have they been?

    • Jews should not be leaving the Ukraine Esther for fear of antisemitism! Easy for me to say as a Gentile but now is not the time to fear those who will not be given what hitler received from an indifferent world?

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    As a returning resident who came back to Israel alone from Skokie, Illinois, on December 26, 2013, I certainly want to welcome those individuals from the Ukrainian Jewish community who have decided to make aliyah at this time! It is my sincere hope that thousands of Ukrainian Jews will join this newest group to emigrate here. I left a rather quiet community in a suburb just north of Chicago. Nonetheless, both of my daughters encountered some anti-Semitism in their encounters with other students in the local community high school. As an English professor, I also encountered some anti-Semitism in my college classes in a far northern suburb of Chicago. Notwithstanding, my family’s experience was very mild in contrast to the overt anti-Semitism in Ukraine, especially in the last few months. I am certain that the Ukrainian Jewish olim will be a fine asset to Israeli society. Pesach is the most optimal time to show solidarity with our Jewish brethren who have opted to join their people in their free, democratic homeland!


      Returned Peace Corps Vol.
      Ethiopia III

      • shloime

        apparently “the peace corps” didn’t teach you much english. or much of anything else, if you don’t know the meaning of anti-semitism, and insist on playing silly word games.

        • Because, Shloime, antisemitism is a bandwagon for the disaffected and the bigoted! Like the Catastrophe for 6,000,000 Murdered Jews of The Holocaust, they see a statistical analysis which submerges the Catastrophe under a WWII heading with 50/70 Million victims. Remember though, the Victims of WWII were not targeted exclusively because they were Jews, the Jewish People were!

      • vivarto

        What’s your beef?

        • Perhaps that Jews are such a minority the World should not care about them? The World however, must care about them!

      • Batyah

        Mark, what are your responding to? This article is about the Jews in the Ukraine immigrating to Israel.

        • I have the same problem when attempting to keep within the parameters of The Holocaust. They seek a differing agenda and attempt to disguise their race hatred for lessening the debt we too owe to their Memory. We cannot simply side line a discussion by referring to another issue! Palestine can not equate to The Holocaust! Antisemitism cannot be lessened by reference to what is happening to other Peoples!

      • Man on the street

        Obviously intellectual honesty goes out of the window once religion, or fanatic thinking becomes involved.

      • Efram

        You might get someone to read this to you, but there are Jews from Ethiopia, the Falashas. The Ethiopia you love so much was working on a genocidal plan of their own, when Israel rescued them, in many cases bribing Ethiopia to let them go. This year’s Miss Israel was from a family that fled Ethiopia. If this is what the Peace Corps dredges up by way of volunteers, it is time for a little regrouping.

        Your bigotry is not appreciated here, Mark Brecker, ESQaped Nazi.

    • Eve

      Surrounded by Arabs, wanting to kill them.