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In June 2016 our aliyahfieldworker Nataliya and driver Kolya went to western Ukraine and together with 2 local representatives of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) they visited especially in remote areas Jewish families to see what kind of help they needed. As most of the local JAFI representatives all over Ukraine don't have their own transport it was a good opportunity to have this cooperation! This is the story of one of the families they met. Other stories will follow soon. Most visits took place in the regions of Lvov, Rovno and in the Carpathians!
Volodya and Evgeniya Berdnik and Nataliya from Christians for Israel Ukraine
Mezhygorie village (West-Ukraine) is located between the mountains and is full of picturesque landscapes. It’s a melting pot of nations, but, I regret to say, the attitude towards the Jews has always been ultra-nationalistic. When we met this family for the first time and started helping them out, the head of the family shared with us that he’s doing his best to be as cautious as possible. When we were helping them to get prepared for the first consular check, it was necessary to take photographs of each family member according to specific standards.
The photographer, having heard the size of the photos they needed, said, “Are you taking these photos for the Israeli embassy?” What he was trying to say is that since there are only two Jewish families living in the village, all locals know that Volodya is a Jew. Of course the villagers also remember his mother. That is why we try to solve all questions of this family in the regional centre without drawing any negative attention. The regional centre is located 110 kilometers from their home village via terrible pot-hole riddled roads.
Volodya is a self-educated blacksmith, however the quality of the work shows that he’s a true professional. Volodya is also a professional driver and he dreams of finding this kind of job in Israel. His wife Evgeniya is a nurse. While helping them with the preparation process, we became friends, so they felt safe with us and we could support and encourage them.
The Berdnik family from Mezhygorie village
During the last consular check, the consul asked them to find one more official paper in the Kirovohrad region (centre of Ukraine) where their grandmother Hana Pinhusovna used to live. We do everything we can to help them and find this paper and assist them in obtaining the consul’s permission so they can make aliyah to Eretz Israel.
With God’s help, we hope the Berdnik family will soon be in the Holy Land!
More and more people want to prepare their documents in order to be ready to leave Ukraine and go to Israel. Because of the long distances that people have to travel to reach the embassy in their district, Christians for Israel will facilitate their transportation by renting small and big busses to drive groups from the same area to the Israeli embassy in their region and later on to the airport for a 'one way' flight to Israel.
The average cost for one person is € 135 / US $ 150
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