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  • Against all odds - Timofey Serpkov enjoys his quarantine at the hotel | Photo: JAFI
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Against all odds

Anna Klechenova - 3 March 2021

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.  My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.” Job (23:10-11)

This post is about olim families on cancelled flights, afraid of not being able to fly home and finally happiness  about their long-awaited meeting with First Home in the Homeland.

“The path to the Holy Land is never easy”

The path to the Holy Land is never easy. Especially today, with Israel’s skies almost closed to arrivals and departures due to the pandemic. For many people it has become a real obstacle.

Single mother Natalia Kleiner from Mukatchevo (Ukraine) and her 8-year-old daughter Emilia were supposed to fly to Israel on February 4. “We live in a rental apartment in difficult times and don’t feel safe here. I always knew about my Jewish roots and origin, however I haven’t thought about moving anywhere until recently. I have decided to make aliyah for Emilia’s future.  After our aliyah was approved I quit my job. Unfortunately, the pandemic has made its own adjustments to our plans and we could not leave in the beginning of February as planned. Thanks to Christians for Israel’s assistance we are keeping afloat, and we are very grateful to them! For three weeks we have been waiting for any news and hoping, with faith in our hearts, for a miracle”, Natalia confides. “We still do not have a confirmed date for aliyah, but we know it will happen – just a little bit more of hope!”

Natalia Kleiner with her daughter and grandfather | Photo: JAFI

 

And miracles really happen! Despite all obstacles four families from Russia, one from the USA, one from South Africa and two from Argentina (eight out of thirty families that are supposed to join the FH program in February) have managed to make their way to Israel. They are currently going through their quarantine in a Tel-Aviv hotel staying in comfortable rooms with a view of the sea and still can’t believe they’re here.

The Serpkov’s family from Moscow (Russia) – Mikhail, Olga and their 7-year-old son Timofey. “We always wanted to live in a democratic country.  Olga’s mother, grandmother and grandfather are Jews. That’s why we started considering our moving to Israel a year ago. Olga’s uncle has lived in Tel-Aviv with his family for 20 years and it was he who told us about the First Home on the Homeland Program. The decision was made quickly, while the way to the Holy Land – wasn’t. Because of the pandemic and many lockdowns our fear about the future was increasing from day to day. In fact, we were at a loss. We have lost our jobs and our son has left his school. We had to start everything from the very beginning! Now we feel safe and take the quarantine period as our spiritual revival. Every day we are in touch with coordinators from First Home and Israel Rear Command. Timofey received a gift from Christians for Israel, all is good. We are not alone…We are home!”, as they say.

The Serpkov’s family at the quarantine hotel | Photo: JAFI

“Today, now we are in Israel, my concerns are over”

Marina Vinter from Nizhny Novgorod (Russia) has arrived with her 10-year-old daughter Sofia: “I’ve moved alone with a little child. I packed my entire life into six suitcases, but my flight was delayed by 2 weeks. I didn’t know exactly when we would fly! It wasn’t easy for me although I received help at all stages. Today, now we are in Israel, my concerns are over. Sofia’s birthday was on February 28th. It was unusual, but in a cozy atmosphere: an unfamiliar country, a hotel, but with the wonderful sea outside the window! We are together and we have great support here”, Marina says.

Timofey Serpkov enjoys his quarantine at the hotel | Photo: JAFI

So, let’s bless all the families on overcoming difficulties, getting peace and tranquility in their hearts and living happily in the Holy Land and pray for those who are still waiting for that moment of landing in Tel Aviv airport!

Please support the “First Home in the Homeland” Project. Any amount is welcome!
Assisting a family in the “First Home” program costs € 230 euro / US $ 250 a month.

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