More than 200 new Jewish immigrants from Ukraine arrived in Israel this week and celebrated their first Hanukkah in the Jewish state.
The flight of 208 immigrants was chartered by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) and arrived at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on the seventh day of Hanukkah. The immigrants enjoyed a festive breakfast of jelly doughnuts and lit a menorah in the airport.
“It is so symbolic that you arrived in Israel at the height of the Festival of Lights—Hanukkah,” Israel’s Minister of Aliyah and Integration Sofa Landver told the new immigrants.
“You are adding a lot of light to the state of Israel, and I hope that your first Hanukkah lights in Israel will light your way to building a new home,” she said.
Representatives from The Fellowship also greeted the immigrants at the airport.
“You’ve arrived just at the right time,” Yael Eckstein, the organization’s global executive vice president, told the group. “Like the miracle of Hanukkah, it’s a big miracle that you’ve arrived.”
Upon departing the airport, the immigrants headed to their new homes throughout the country in cities including Arad, Acre, Eilat, Netanya and Nahariya.
Each family will receive $4,300 from Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, in addition to $800 per adult and $400 per child from The Fellowship to assist with living expenses.