As a direct result of the shocking events in the Ukraine over the past few months the numbers of Jewish people leaving Ukraine for Israel have increased markedly. The turmoil in the country has caused many people to re-evaluate their situation. Andrei and his family have done just that.
Andrei, his wife Oksana and their two sons are leaving Kharkov in East Ukraine for Israel on the Jewish Agency's 'First Home in the Homeland' programme. Andrei has wanted to leave for Israel already for a long time but he says that nobody wanted to go with him! Despite that he continued gathering information about Israel and understood that he could probably get a good job there with his profession.
When the revolution in Ukraine began the family began to be scared and started discussing the process of repatriation. The family went to the Consul and then to the Visa and Registration Department to make their foreign passports. The usual waiting time for passports is 3.5 months but the family wanted them within a month. They were asking for about $600 for each passport! When Andrei was going to complain to their head office, they then agreed to make their passports for about $35 each and they had them within the month.
Ezra helped the family with financial support and also with advice on how to deal with the Visa and Registration Department. Ezra also helped with transport to the airport on the day of their departure. Andrei says: "We are very happy that we got such attention! We couldn't even imagine that somebody would want to help us. We were surprised. Thank you very much."
This is a big adjustment for this family. Andrei says: "We hope everything will be okay. We are going to learn the language, get a good job and live happily. We hope to cope with everything. We also want our whole family to join us there."