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By: Anastasiya Gooding 22 Jan 2021

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Despite the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem assisted over 3,100 Jews in making the journey home to Israel in 2020, making it quite a remarkable year for our Aliyah efforts.

As we look back over 2020, it was a difficult year for everyone with all the corona surges, layoffs, lockdowns and travel bans. Yet one positive development was the continued flow of Jewish people moving to Israel, as some 21,000 new immigrants arrived in the country last year. And thankfully, the ICEJ was able to assist 3,141 of these Olim (newcomers) from more than ten countries – one of the best years ever for our Aliyah efforts.

Among the highlights, the ICEJ sponsored flights for 1,645 Jews arriving from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Ethiopia, India and several other countries.

In May 2020, we funded a specially chartered emergency flight from Moscow to mark the 30th anniversary of our very first sponsored Aliyah flight in May 1990, which also arrived from Moscow with hundreds of Russian-speaking Jews following the collapse of Soviet communism.

We also launched the ‘Rescue250’ campaign last summer, challenging Christians to help us bring at least 250 Jews home per month while COVID-19 was still impacting the world.

In addition, the ICEJ sponsored Aliyah flights for 384 Ethiopian Jews last year. This included several hundred who came as part of the special “Operation Rock of Israel” airlift launched at the end of year to bring 2,000 Ethiopian Jews home to Israel.

Then in December, Israel welcomed a group of 248 members of the Bnei Menashe tribe from northeast India, 49 of whom were sponsored by the ICEJ. They come from are a unique tribe of Chinese Jews who claim descent from the Israelite tribe of Menashe exiled from the Land of Israel by the Assyrians more than 2,700 years ago. One of these new immigrants is a prize-winning martial arts competitor who hopes to join the IDF and represent Israel in international matches.

Meantime, we also helped hundreds of other Jewish immigrants with the costs of two-weeks of self-quarantine in corona hotels required by the Israeli government. There also were hundreds of Jewish youths who arrived last year after participating in Jewish Agency pre-Aliyah preparatory programs, summer camps and weekend Aliyah fairs sponsored by the ICEJ. Plus, the ICEJ provided absorption assistance to hundreds of other needy Jewish immigrant families, such as those who needed computers for their children to take part in school classes from home.

The ICEJ is off to a good start in the new year 2021 as well! On the first day of January, the Christian Embassy funded another flight of 100 Ethiopian Jews who landed at Ben-Gurion Airport, plus we have another flight coming up in early February which is expected to bring at least 200 more immigrants from the ancient Ethiopian Jewish community.

Also in January this year, the ICEJ sponsored Aliyah flights for five more women from the Bnei Menashe community who arrived in Israel despite the country-wide lockdown. They are really a blessing for Israel, as many Bnei Menashe end up serving in elite IDF units or working in high-tech factories, while others become nurses, dental hygienists, social workers and rabbis.

So what an amazing beginning for this year as well!

Since we were founded in 1980, the Christian Embassy has been helping Jews return to Israel from every corner of the earth. In total, the ICEJ has assisted more than 160,000 Jews from over 35 countries to make Aliyah to Israel. This includes sponsoring flights, helping with ground transportation, accommodations, and other logistical support to attend Aliyah fairs, Aliyah summer camps, Aliyah seminars, consular visits, ulpan (Hebrew language) classes, and many other programs.

We also must recognize that it is Christians like you, from around the globe, who have made all this possible by being faithful to answer God’s prophetic summons in Isaiah 49:22: “See, I will beckon to the nations, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their hips.”

There are exciting days ahead as the Aliyah is expected to surge in 2021. Please consider a generous donation as we work together to gather the Jewish people back to the homeland and thereby hasten God’s purposes for Israel.

Support the extensive ongoing work and witness of the ICEJ by helping us fund our core activities in fulfilling our mandate to support Israel, connect the church, provide education and promote justice.

Donations allow us to maintain funding for emergency projects, and embark on new initiatives to support Israel in these critical days.

Thank you for your ongoing support of ICEJ Canada!


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