Alexandra from Russia: “Lighting the Hanukkah candles as an Israeli is my true Hanukkah miracle.”
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – One hundred young immigrants who have arrived in Israel in recent months from 29 countries lit the “global hanukkiah” (Hanukkah menorah) last night (Tuesday, December 27) together with Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky. The festive event, which took place at Kibbutz Tzuba outside of Jerusalem, brought together participants in The Jewish Agency’s Kibbutz Ulpan program, who spoke about their personal Hanukkah miracles and journeys to Israel.
The ceremony was hosted by a recent immigrant from France and four immigrants—from Brazil, Canada, Italy, and Russia—lit the Hanukkah candles. Alexandra, who recently arrived in Israel from Russia, said that she had visited Israel several times on Jewish Agency programs and came to realize that Israel was her home. “Lighting the Hanukkah candles as an Israeli is my true Hanukkah miracle,” she said.
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said: “The miracle of Hanukkah takes places in every generation and it depends on us. If we are connected to our roots and to one another, we can prevail over any foe and overcome any threat.”
The Jewish Agency’s Kibbutz Ulpan program enables young immigrants to spend their first few months in Israel living on kibbutzim across the country, where they engage in intensive Hebrew studies, enjoy enrichment programs and career or academic guidance, and are paired with host families, who accompany them throughout their integration into Israeli society. Some 700 young people from around the world participate in the program each year.
The Jewish Agency for Israel is the largest Jewish nonprofit organization in the world. Founded in 1929, The Jewish Agency was instrumental in founding and building the State of Israel and has brought more than three million Jews home to the Jewish state, including tens of thousands this past year alone. Today the organization serves as the primary link between Israel and the Jewish world, bringing young Jews to experience life in the Jewish state and sending young Israelis to share their country with Jewish communities around the world. The Jewish Agency works to narrow social gaps within Israel and empower all segments of Israeli society while dispatching Israeli young people and their worldwide Jewish peers to volunteer in underprivileged communities in Africa, Latin America, and Israel’s socioeconomic periphery. The organization serves as the Jewish world’s first responder, prepared to rescue and bring Jews home to Israel from countries where they are at risk and addressing emergency situations in Israel and Jewish communities abroad. Learn more at jewishagency.org.
PHOTO: Recent immigrants from Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Russia and 24 other countries light Hanukkah candles together with Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky at Kibbutz Tzuba, December 27, 2016. Photo credit: David Shechter and Ilai Wagschal, The Jewish Agency for Israel.