Ukrainian Jews Flee Violence, Fulfill Prophecy
JERUSALEM, Israel -- The disintegrating situation in Ukraine has led to an increase in anti-Semitic attacks against Jews living in the country. Many Jews are talking about escaping to Israel.
Nineteen Ukrainian Jews arrived in Israel this week after escaping the violence engulfing their country. Others still wait and worry about relatives left behind.
Ilena Hila Feingold, who has lived in Israel for many years, works for The Jewish Agency.
"I'm from Donetsk. I arrived to Israel in 1991 with my family but still now I have in Donetsk my aunt," Feingold told CBN News. "She's 86 and I'm very worried -- what about her, I don't hear about her. I'm only praying that it will be okay."
Feingold's job is to help other Jewish people come home to Israel.
"For the Jewish people it's different and it's different in all cities -- in the Western part of Ukraine, it's not the same to the eastern part -- but the one thing is common that we feel that the Jews want to go to Israel more, [many] of them," Feingold said.
In the early 1990s, more than a million Jews immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union, many of them from the Ukraine. That tapered off, but now immigration from the Ukraine has risen more than 100 percent in the first months of 2014.
Ilena and Daria, friends in their early twenties, arrived on this week's flight.
"It's a difficult situation in my country. I'm from Ukraine; that's why I'm here and I love Israel," Daria said. "I've been here many times. I have relatives here. That's my country."
Ilena came earlier on a study program and now she's back to stay.
"Oh it's a hard situation. Everyday people are dying there," Ilena said. "I don't know if it's safe for now to be there for Jews."
The flight that arrived in Israel this week was sponsored by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, which began helping Jews immigrate to Israel more than 25 years ago.
"The Embassy has already helped more than 40,000 Ukrainian Jews; sometimes it was in times of conflict like this," ICEJ spokesman David Parsons said. "This seems to be another occasion where Jews are in danger in the Ukraine. There have been an increase in anti-Semitic attacks and they're wanting to come home."
Parsons sees this return as a part of biblical prophecy.
"We do believe that the return of the Jewish people is fulfillment of God's promises to bring the Jews back," Parsons told CBN News.
"Some Christians sort of focus on the dark side of prophecy -- Who's the anti-Christ? When is Armageddon going to happen? -- but we focus on the positive side, the return of the Jews," Parsons said.
"Even in the Hebrew prophets it speaks of gentiles assisting with this," he continued. "And we see ourselves in Scripture as those gentiles that God has beckoned to, as it says in Isaiah 49, come help with the return of the Jews back to the land."