Supporting New Jewish Immigrants

    Supporting New Jewish Immigrants from Ukraine and Russia

    Presentation1

    The Need and the Vision

    Unceasing flow of Jewish immigrants into their historical Homeland is a beautiful and vivid example of God’s eternal promises being fulfilled in front of our eyes. Still, any immigration is a real challenge for every person and family, and Aliyah is not an exception. New immigrants face many difficulties and even obstacles in the Promised Land, such as language issues, bureaucracy, challenges of starting from scratch, finding a home, a job and getting used to the new society and different cultural settings. All these issues become even more problematic for those immigrants, who have got absolutely no family or friends in the Land, or for those, who have got special physical needs.

    Eduard Bitiev, a faithful worker of Aviv Ministry, who has been taking care of Aviv Center outreach and soup kitchen for years (as a part-time employee), has also been involved in the work with new immigrants in his hometown, Ashkelon, situated by the Mediterranean Sea - a very popular place for Russian-speaking immigrants to come and settle in after their arrival in the Land. Eduard, often together with helpers, has been doing a great work and has helped dozens of immigrant families, but at present it is mostly his private initiative, into which he invests his personal time and resources. That is why we decided to step in and make this project part of Aviv Ministry, taking responsibility over and developing this important humanitarian work, which has got beautiful potential, opens many doors for the Gospel and builds long term relationships with many Russian speaking Israelis.

     

    Why This Project?

    Israel is interested in new immigrants and helps them as much as it can, but those official authorities that are commissioned to care for everyone making the Aliyah often lack manpower and time to meet every need and can do very little on the personal level, while encouragement, friendship and other kinds of moral support are crucial factors that help a new immigrant eventually become a happy and faithful Israeli citizen.

    These days, when the Aliyah from Ukraine and Russia has increased dramatically and many immigrants are also traumatized refugees who have lost everything they had and now have to “reboot” their lives in a foreign environment, it is especially important that they have someone to turn to when worried or confused or in need of practical assistance - even when government offices are closed, or on holiday, or simply overwhelmed with appeals.

    We also see the need to rent a small apartment in Ashkelon to be able to give a short-term shelter to immigrant families while they are looking for more permanent accommodations, since we have seen that the authorities are not always able to provide temporary housing for immigrants in the towns they want to settle in. Besides, providing a place to live gives us additional opportunities for closer relationship with the immigrants and for sharing that God loves them and that they are not in a foreign country, but finally at home!

     

    The potential of the project: what can be accomplished through its implementation?

    Since this work has been going on for quite some time, we know that it brings good and lasting fruit. The support and encouragement new immigrants are getting helps many of them fight certain disappointments, overcome difficulties and truly accept Israel as their homeland. Sometimes as a result their relatives and friends who are still in the diaspora, decide to make Aliyah as well. The immigrants (as well as Israeli authorities that deal with them) also see practical good deeds of believers in Christ and that breaks many false stereotypes regarding relationship between Jews and Christians. The believers become good and trustworthy friends the immigrants know they can turn to in times of need, and the connection between them may last for years. Sometimes the immigrants start asking spiritual questions, ask for a Bible and even visit local Messianic congregations.

    If we support and develop this ministry even further, it has a great potential to touch even more hearts and lives, let them know God’s love and truth and help them find their Messiah and Savior. We also see and believe that this work is and will be a real testimony and blessing for Israeli society in general.

     

    How is the project carried out?

    Eduard works closely with the municipality of Ashkelon and is getting calls from them and other sources regarding immigrants who need different kind of immediate help. Eduard and his helpers will also be keeping in touch with these families for further encouragement and support, various events, etc. In addition, as has already been said, we are planning to rent a small apartment to be able to temporarily accommodate those immigrants who are not successful in quickly finding a place to live (because of unexpected complications or other special circumstances).

     

    What kind of help will the immigrants be getting?

    Physical/residential:

    1) Accommodations. We will be able to provide new immigrants (one family at a time) who are facing difficulties in finding a place to live with a free apartment for a short period of time (about a week or two) during which we will be helping them find a good place for a fair price, as well as providing other assistance and advice.

    2) Provision of first immediate physical needs.

    Social, emotional and spiritual

    1) Assistance in various issues connected to healthcare, banks, social services, employment, education, etc.

    2) Encouragement and support in various obstacles an immigrant faces in a new country.

    3) Trips and events that would help the immigrants get to know the Land, its culture and its people better.

    4) Encouragement through God’s Word, invitation to spiritual events.

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