The Meaning of ‘Aliyah’ and ICEJ’s Role During 2022

In 70 AD following the destruction of the second temple the Jews were dispersed throughout the world. The Jewish people’s longing to return to their Homeland, however, was never abandoned. At the conclusion of the Passover meal, the statement, which is also a prayer, is “Next year in Jerusalem.”

Aliyah is a Hebrew word which means to “go up.” While originally it referred to ascending to Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish pilgrimage feasts, today it has come to mean the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel.

Simply stated, Aliyah is the ingathering of the exiles from the four corners of the earth and is rooted in the Jewish people’s fervent hope to rebuild its national life in the country from which it was exiled nearly 2,000 years ago.

The prophets spoke many times of the regathering of the people back to Israel following exile. Isaiah 11:12 is an example. “He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”

‘A Banner Year for ICEJ in Aliyah’ is what ICEJ’s media reported at the end of 2022.

This year we have assisted over 5,000 Jews in making Israel their new home in 2022. Thanks to your generous support, the Christian Embassy was once again a key player in the return of Jewish families to their ancestral homeland!

With our latest Aliyah and Integration efforts, the ICEJ has now assisted more than 167,000 olim (newcomers) to Israel since our founding.

Our Aliyah support for 2022 included pre-Aliyah assistance (sponsoring Aliyah camps and seminars), plus bus transportation, accommodations enroute, and flights for 3,982 Jewish immigrants. Among them were 1,092 Ukrainian Jews desperate to escape their war-torn cities.

This included 190 Holocaust survivors plus an additional 100 frail elderly Jews who were all rescued from Ukraine and provided special accommodations, transport and medical care along the way to Israel. Our staff were privileged to welcome 17 of these Holocaust survivors from Ukraine into the ICEJ’s unique assisted-living home in Haifa.

In addition, our support extended to ensuring that new arrivals landed softly in their homeland and integrated as smoothly and quickly as possible into Israeli society. Through the ICEJ’s integration programs this year and in partnership with Israeli institutions, we assisted approximately 1,551 new immigrants. This included:

Educational and vocational programs; special integration programs for unaccompanied teens; furnishings supplied to homes; subsidised dental treatment; welcome packs; mentoring and assistance to adjust to Israeli life in practical and economic situations.

Meanwhile, the ICEJ Homecare team also crisscrossed Israel this year bringing love and comfort to those in their care, many are from Ukraine, they have been depressed about a similar war situation they once went through and concerned about family members. Homecare nurse Corrie van Maanen visits 10 to 15 families each week and, in addition, she visits another 100 people twice a year at the holidays to bring special Passover and Rosh HaShana gifts to many Jewish immigrants who are now elderly and lonely or have special needs.

Know that your support toward the work of Aliyah and Integration is making a huge life-changing difference in helping Jews from around the world return home to Israel and in assisting them to settle in their Land. The surge in Aliyah is expected to continue well into 2023, so please keep supporting the ICEJ’s Aliyah efforts by donating at: icej.org.au/donate/

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