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From the Four Corners of the Earth

editor - 25 November 2020

Fear not for I am with you; from the east I will bring your seed, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, “Give,” and to the south, “Do not refrain”; bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the end of the earth.” Isaiah 43:5-6

We often tell you about families from Ukraine, Russia and other Russian speaking countries. In this article we want to introduce you to participants of our First Home in the Homeland Program from different corners of the globe. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working hard to make sure olim from across the world could make aliya to the “Promised Land” through our program and become Israelis in a very short time!

Gerardo Werchow (43 y.o.) and his wife Barbara Tarcic (40 y.o.) with two kids, Teodor (9 y.o.) and Ligia (4 y.o.) made aliyah from Argentina to kibbutz Neot Mordechai (Upper Galilee) in October 2020. He is an administrative manager and she is a film producer.

“Argentina is a country of contrasts and emigrants. Despite the mixing of cultures, we have managed to preserve our Jewish traditions. For us, Judaism is more than a religion. It’s the smell and taste of food, the blessings, the celebrating of Shabbat and the lighting of candles”, – the Werchow-Tarcic family recalls.

“When I was a little girl, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. I remember how skillfully she cooked traditional Jewish dishes. It was like magic to me. I asked her to teach me to make Gefilte Fish. I watched her cook, remembering every movement”, Barbara expresses. “When I cook this dish now, I feel like she is next to me. The smell takes me back to my childhood, to my grandmother’s house, filled with laughter and love. Can you guess, what was the first dish, that I cooked in our new home, the kibbutz?”

Aaron Shamra (36 years old, single and cook) made aliyah from India to kibbutz Ein-HaShofet in October 2020.

“My grandfather from my mother’s side taught Hebrew and Torah to Indian Jews, especially to the ones settled in the countryside. I spent my summer holidays at my grandparents’ house. My grandfather always told us stories from the Tanakh and taught us Hebrew letters, while my grandmother cooked us the best meals ever.  Thanks to them Israel was never just a point on the map for me,” Aaron recalls.

“My father was a Hindu and my mother Jewish by birth. In spite of the strong influence of patriarchy in Indian culture, Jewish traditions have always been respected in our family. We ate kosher food, observed Shabbat, recited prayers, and celebrated every Jewish festival with the small Jewish community present in India.  I was always attracted to the “Holy Land,” Aaron tells. “When I landed at the airport, a stranger came up to me and said, ‘Welcome home, son.’ These words touched me deeply. I have never felt at home in a strange land from the minute I landed there.” Aaron says in awe.

Stanislav Egorov (31 years old) and his wife Darya (31 years old) with their son Mark (5 years old) will make aliya from Ukraine to kibbutz Merkhavia at the end of November 2020. He is a surgeon and she is a nurse. Drivers from Christians for Israel will bring them on their last journey to the airport in Kiev.

“I was greatly influenced by my Jewish grandfather. I even became a doctor like him. Israel has always been a dream for me. A photo of the Rambam Hospital in Haifa hangs on the fridge since my student days. But it was hard to imagine to leave everything behind in Ukraine and make aliyah. When we found out that a special program for doctors was opening in the First Home in the Homeland program this year, my wife and I realized that we couldn’t keep delaying any longer,” Stanislav says. “I still can’t believe that my dream will soon become a reality. Thanks to the First Home Program for this chance!”

Please, pray for all the current and future participants of our First Home Program. We feel that next year there will be more olim than this year. We are glad there are religious families among them. We will tell about one of them in the next article.

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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