Published On: Thu, Dec 17th, 2015

Christians and Jews organization to double Aliyah in 2016 reaching to Moldova, France, Uruguay, Venezuela and Arab Country

Nearly 25 percent of olim made aliyah with independent organizations in 2015, including more than 2, 000 with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

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The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) is planning to double the number of immigrants (olim) it brings to Israel in 2016 over this current year, rescuing many more Jews from economic straits and growing anti-Semitism.

Since launching its aliyah program in December 2014, The Fellowship has brought more than 2, 000 olim to Israel, mostly from Ukraine but also from France, Moldova, the Spanish North African city of Mellila, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela, and an unnamed Arab country.

In 2016, due to rising global anti-Semitism and violence, The Fellowship aims to expand its aliyah activities worldwide within countries, as well as Spain, Russia and beyond, and double the number of new olim it brings to Israel to 4, 000.

An estimated 28, 000 Diaspora Jews in total will have arrived in Israel by the end of this year, an increase over the five-year high of some 25, 000 olim in 2014. Of the total number of immigrants, some 6, 500 – or about one quarter – are coming to Israel with privately funded independent organizations such as The Fellowship and Nefesh B’Nefesh, which The Fellowship helped found 10 years ago with a seed gift of $2 million.

In the past 15 years, The Fellowship has contributed more than $200 million to the overall aliyah effort and helped bring some 725, 000 olim from Ethiopia, India, the former Soviet Union, and other countries.

This new privatized aliyah effort has also seen the creation of specialized services tailored to immigrants’ countries of origin – with The Fellowship providing financial aid to Ukrainian olim escaping that country’s civil strife, housing assistance to French Jews who signaled such needs, and more.

“The historic focus on aliyah as Israel’s national program to rescue the world’s Jews and build the Jewish state has dimmed, but we are ramping up a new, independent aliyah movement to help Jews from around the Diaspora who are still threatened by anti-Semitism and economic hardship, ” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of The Fellowship.

“In a short time, with the help of so many incredible Christian friends of Israel, we’ve already brought thousands of Jews home, and in the coming year we are rededicating ourselves to rebuilding aliyah – and the Jewish homeland.”

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein founded the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews in 1983 to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews, and build broad support for Israel.

Today, The Fellowship is the world’s largest organization of Christians actively working with Jews to support Israel and the Jewish people. Since its founding, The Fellowship has raised close to $1.25 billion for this work. The organization has offices in the U.S., Israel, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and South Korea.

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