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13.12.2014

Jews of Ukraine appreciate Israel’s eased immigration policy

Leaders of the Jewish community in eastern Ukraine have approved Israel’s decision to ease immigration requirements for refugees from the ATO zone, calling it an extremely necessary humanitarian gesture

The director of the Jewish agency for Russian-speaking Jews Roman Polonsky announced that the deputy interior minister of Israel Faina Kirshenbaum understood the problem, and would do everything necessary so that Ukrainians who found themselves in a very difficult situation could come to Israel.

The authorities have done great work in removing the technical obstacle that did not allow people from the warfare zone to be repatriated to Israel,” said the leader of the Dnepropetrovsk Jewish community Zelig Brez.

In his turn, the leader of the Donetsk Jewish community, Rabbi Pinkhas Vyshedski, noted that people in the Donbass Obalst had left their homes and been deprived of their means of support, and therefore Israel should do everything in its power to make their lives easier. According to his information, since the start of military operations, about half of the local Jewish community had left Donetsk, around 10-11,000 people. Vyshedski also added that Jewish institutions in Donetsk would remain open, and hundreds of people came to the synagogue daily for hot meals.

A similar situation is seen in Lugansk, where hundreds of members of the Jewish community recently stood in line to receive humanitarian aid.

I am glad that the repatriation procedure has been simplified in Israel, and I hope that this will be useful for Jews who wish to make Aliyah. Despite the fact that the number of Ukrainian Jews moving to Israel has increased by three times compared to last year, there are still comparatively few of them, taking into account the number of members of the community suffering from military operations,” said the chief rabbi of Ukraine Yakov Dov Blaikh.

The leadership of the Jewish agency in Ukraine noted that the situation of Aliyah was complicated by the fact that many Ukrainian Jews left their homes without passports and other documents confirming their nationality.

To recap, the Israeli Department for affairs of resettlement and migration simplified the repatriation procedure for Jews from the Donetsk and Lugansk Oblast in early December. Now tourists from the eastern region of Ukraine can submit documents to check whether they come under the Law of Return, if they present documents confirming their place of residence. At the same time, they are exempt from the obligation to translate all the important documents into Hebrew and provide a clean criminal record.

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