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South African Jews Arrive in Israel on ICEJ-Funded Flight

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30 Jul 2021
South African Jews Arrive in Israel on ICEJ-Funded Flight

A group of 87 South African Jewish immigrants arrived safely in Israel this week on an emergency Aliyah flight funded by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem at the urgent request of the Jewish Agency. They had accelerated their immigration process to Israel due to the struggling economy, high unemployment, coronavirus lockdowns and recent political unrest in South Africa, which saw widespread looting in recent days following the arrest of a popular former leader on corruption charges.

The group of olim (newcomers) who landed early Wednesday morning were the largest Aliyah flight group from South Africa in over 25 years. They will now spend time in quarantine before starting to settle into their new lives in Israel.

Vivienne Myburgh, National Director for ICEJ-South Africa, had the chance to say farewell to some of her Jewish countrymen before they departed the airport in Cape Town. She spoke with 91 year-old Dr. Hymie Ehrlich just before he boarded the flight to join his son and family, who made Aliyah 33 years ago, and his daughter who arrived in Israel four months ago. Ehrlich shared that he has visited Israel about 40 times throughout his life and that “it has always been a dream” to go and live there. He was born in the Cape area in 1930 and practiced as a doctor until 2020, when at almost 90 years of age he was “instructed” to retire due to the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Danelle and Paul Datnow and their two sons, Benjamin and Jacob, were also on the flight. They had gone to Israel on a holiday in 2017 when Danelle and her husband fell in love with Israel. After talking about making Aliyah for three years, they started the process a few months ago during the lockdown period. They plan to live in Raanana, a beautiful suburb north of Tel Aviv which is popular with South African Jews and where a quarter of the population is made up of immigrant families.

They were all part of a group of 10 immigrants from Cape Town who met up with another 77 coming from Johannesburg, who all rendezvoused in Addis Ababa for the final overnight leg to Ben-Gurion Airport.

Israel offers many programs for new immigrants like these, such as Hebrew language courses and help with all the administrative side of settling into a new life in a new land.

The Christian Embassy is extremely blessed that we were able to respond on such short notice with the finances to make this urgent flight possible for all 87 of these Jewish immigrants making the journey home to Israel from South Africa. And we are expecting many more Jewish immigrants to be coming from South Africa, as well as from Ethiopia, India, Russia, Ukraine, France and even America, among many other lands, in the coming months. Most certainly, the ICEJ will be there to assist them as you enable us by supporting our many Aliyah efforts.

The call of God for the Jews to come home, and the current difficulties in many countries worldwide, is causing many Jewish people around the globe to consider and realize that the time has come to return to their ancient homeland.

“Therefore you are to say, ‘This is what the Lord God says, “I’m going to gather you from among the nations, assembling you from the lands among which you have been dispersed. I’ll give you the land of Israel.” (Ezekiel 11: 16-17)

Again, planning is already underway for many more Jewish families to make Aliyah to Israel this year — including large groups from the Bnei Menashe community in India and from the Beta Israel tribes in Ethiopia. Please help us to bring them home to Zion.
 

 

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