• The family of four from Bershad with father Alex on the left | Photo: Christians for Israel
SOS Ukraine

Jewish refugees from Ukraine keep asking us for help: “We want to go to Israel!”

Koen Carlier - 21 June 2022

Today is our last and final journey to Moldova this week. During the first two journeys it were mainly Jewish refugees from Bakhmut, Sievierodonetsk, Kherson and Chernihiv who requested us to help them. This week we took them to Moldova.

The people leaving today all come from the oblast (province) Vinnitsa. We were a bit surprised, because it is relatively quiet there. But when you hear the stories why people leave, the picture becomes a bit clearer.

Zhanna’s story
For example the story of 84-year-old Holocaust survivor Zhanna. She told me that we took her daughter to Israel two years ago. She is now living with her family in Karmiel and she is doing very well.

On the request of her daughter, who called her mother, and she said: “Dear mom, we don’t know how the situation develops. I have been in Israel for two years now and life is so good here. We are being taken care of, we work and we contribute economically to the country. Mom, I would really like you to spend the last years of your life here, with us in the Promised Land.”

Zhanna has thought it over and finally concluded: my daughter is right.

This morning we collected Zhanna. As a little girl she fled from the Nazis from Kerch, a small town in south-eastern Ukraine. After the war she ended up in an orphanage. Years later she met her husband, in Vinnitsa. Then they settled there. She always wanted to go to Israel, but it was always being put off.

“She says that she has enormous regrets: “Why didn’t I go to Israel any sooner?”

Today, in the car on her way to Moldova she says that she has enormous regrets: “Why didn’t I go to Israel any sooner? Unfortunately, we cannot turn back time. Fortunately it can still be done, to make that journey at my advanced age.” She said goodbye to her home care. She left in peace, knowing that she will be warmly welcomed in Karmiel.


84-year-old Zhanna (middle) with the two home care employees | Photo: Christians for Israel

Another family comes from Bershad. A family of four (see photo at the top). Father Alex, I know very well. Every time we come to Bershad with food parcels and to visit people, he welcomes us. I was surprised he decided to leave for Israel. I told him: “Alex, I never expected you to leave.”

He said: “Koen you are so right. I never intended to leave. But a dear relative of us, living near Sumy, (forty kilometres from the Russian border) got a stray missile on his house. The house is completely destroyed and he is paralised. We decided then and there to leave after all, because we don’t know how the war will develop. Will it stay in the East? Will it expand?

Not much left of the house of Alex’s relative near Sumy| Photo: Christians for Israel

Alex’s questions keep us busy as well. On the map you see that more and more. The Ukrainian army says that they fight over every metre to get our land back. The Russian army says the opposite. Which of the two is right we don’t know. There is heavy fighting, with a lot of casualties, a lot of misery and bombardments on residential areas. But I don’t have to tell you all this, because it is on the news every day.

“Like we said: we will continue to get Jews out of the war zone. To safer areas. To Israel!”

“He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Isaiah 2:4.

Mother, daughter and granddaughter at Bakhmut (near Sievierodonetsk where there is heavy fighting). We took them to Moldova and next week they will fly to Israel | Photo: Christians for Israel

Then the stream of refugees. People are completely confused. How will it all continue? Like we said: we will continue to get Jews out of the war zone. To safer areas. To Israel!

At the beginning of next week there are another hundred and fifty Jewish men, women and children from Poland, Moldova and Romania who are waiting for their one-time flight to Israel. We are grateful that we can do this for them. We also know that many Jewish families remember the words we have proclaimed.

“If you desire to return to the Promised Land, please contact us!” That is the message we proclaim. But on the other hand there are also a lot of Jewish families who decide to go because their Israeli relatives call them and urge them to leave now before it is too late. Like what we saw in Mariupol, Kherson and many other cities that are occupied now.

Our first priority is still to help the Jewish families, refugee or not, who want to escape for safer places. We are also busy with our food parcel campaign. At our request we asked Jewish schools to organize day summer camps for the Jewish children, for refugees and for children of other families on the run. They are doing that right now. But, more about that in our next update!

Emergency Assistance
Jewish refugees are brought from our shelter in Ukraine to Moldova. Buses then bring them to airports in either Moldova or Romania. From there, they are brought to Israel. The expense of such a bus trip is € 4000 or $4400. This is about € 100 or $110 per person. Would you like to assist one or more Jewish refugees with their evacuation and emigration to Israel? Or do you want to sponsor a whole bus? Please support our emergency campaign. Your support is of vital importance. Thank you in advance!


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