First Home in the Homeland: Escape Envelope

Orly Volshtein - 16 August 2018

Vyacheslav and Tatiana Osipov made aliyah from Russia, Moscow, on 23 July 2018. They will participate in the program ‘First Home in the Homeland’ in the Hinanit settlement, supported by Christians for Israel.

When my youngest daughter made Aliyah at the age of 18, she was the first one from our family, the pioneer, I gave her an envelope with our last dollars and said: – If you feel that it’s getting too hard for you, that you cannot cope anymore, that it’s unbearable, – use this money, take a bus to the airport and from there a plane back to Russia.

After two years I came to visit my Olya in Israel, and she handed me something that I could hardly recognise. A piece of paper with faded pictures and a stamp, one could see that it absorbed many tears. “I don’t need it anymore, – said Olya. At that moment I realised that it was the same “escape envelope”! My little girl, she had hard times in the beginning, cried at nights squeezing this envelope in her hand, but she is so stubborn, she went through it all.

My eldest daughter, Maria, made Aliyah as well, she married and has two sweet children, Eliyahu and Lea, they are 6 and 3 years old. Now it’s our turn. We’re going to our children and grandchildren and I can hardly wait until I can hug them all!

Vyacheslav and Tatiana Osipov with their grandchild

We decided to go first to the Hinanit settlement and join the program First Home in the Homeland. Of course my main task for is to be a granny and to help my girls, but my husband Vyacheslav and me, we want to be independent in Israel and feel home. that’s why our first priority for the first six months is learning Hebrew. My family belongs to Mountain Jews. When I read the general info about Hinanit, I knew straight away that we want to live only there! Hinanit was established in 1981 by the community of Mountain Jews from the Caucasus (Region in South Russia).

The way to our aliyah was very long. My maiden name is Abramovich. I was the only Jewish child in my class. Every new teacher that would see the pupils’ list, his question would be: “So, who from you is this Abramovich?”. I was the only one in my class with brown eyes and curly hair, other children used to laugh at me: “Wash your eyes, you are dirty!” I always felt ugly duckling in my surrounding. When it was too hard, I ran to my grandmother, she hugged me, stroked my hair and always repeated “You will manage, you will get through this, because you are Abramovich”. I didn’t know what she meant, I didn’t know what nationality was or why I felt so different from other children, but I always wanted to find my people, where I will not be a stranger anymore.

 

 

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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