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A long-awaited visa: Aliyah amidst the Corona crisis

editor - 27 June 2020

I dialed Tatyana’s number from my Magdeburg home office. “Did you say Magdeburg? That is my city!” I heard a voice on the other end of the line. “That’s where I spent my childhood. My father was stationed there.”

Tatyana is a stucco plasterer by profession, but she hasn’t found work in her specialty for a long time. Last year her daughter and family left for Israel.

Tatyana’s family, like so many, suffered terribly under German occupation. “My mother experienced the entire war – the constant fear, the humiliation … They lived in a village near Vinnitsa at the time. No chance to evacuate with several small children.

“Mom’s father was deployed to the battlefront. He never returned. One day the Nazis invaded the house looking for partisans. Grandma didn’t say a word.” Tatyana’s mother, five years old at the time, witnessed her mother being brutally beaten and her young brothers killed.

“Mom went to college later to study. She had a beautiful voice. She became a successful choreographer,” Tatyana shares. “But it was hard for Jews in the Soviet Union to find a good job.”

Even when Tatyana went to school a generation later, vocal anti-Semitism was not unusual. “I was often called names like ‘Zhyd,’ which means something like ‘dirty Jew,’” said Tatyana.

I asked how long she had been pondering the thought of Israel, and why she was so keen on leaving now, out of all times.

“Our family didn’t speak about Israel during Soviet times; this was a taboo,” Tatyana remembered. “But for some reason, I’ve always had that desire to see my historical homeland. My people has suffered so much, even during Soviet times.

“A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with leukemia. I didn’t know what to do. All I knew was I needed treatment that I couldn’t get here.

Our Aliyah team takes Tatyana to the airport.

“Then I had a dream, in which God said to me, if I go to Israel, I will live. My decision was quickly made.”

“I experienced so much help,” Tatyana said with tears. Help also came from the Israeli Embassy, which processed her visa in an expedited manner.

“I am so looking forward to my daughter and my grandchildren in Haifa,” Tatyana said. “If God restores my life, I will dedicate it to my grandchildren.”

On May 10 the bloodred sea of Jewish history in Ukraine separated for Tatyana as she boarded an El Al plane along with 52 passengers, leaving two millennia of diaspora behind for her ancient homeland – Eretz Israel.



Support our campaign Bring the Jews Home and help the Jewish people to make Aliyah. For € 135 or US $ 160  we can help one Jewish person to make all the preparations to immigrate to Israel. Of course any amount is welcome.




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