Ministering to olim hadashim (new repatriates)

In our country there is a saying — “There is no emigration to the State of Israel; there is repatriation”. That means Jewish people are returning home from different countries and different cultures. Nevertheless, from time to time, despite all humanitarian programs of the Israeli government, these people are facing a new culture and material difficulties. As a result, they find themselves outside of the Israeli society, not having found a home in their real homeland.

As a congregation, we understand that, in addition to materialistic values, spiritual support and a sense of family and home are important to people. That is why one of the priority areas at “Return to Zion – Shavei Zion” Ministry is serving the olim hadashim (new repatriates). At the same time, we believe that the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is not only an important commandment of the Almighty (God), but also an opportunity to reveal to these people the light and love of Yeshua the Messiah.

In 2016-2017, large waves of repatriates began to arrive in our country in record numbers after a large wave in the 90s—up to 100-130 thousand people. People fled from the armed conflicts and plight in the countries of the former USSR, inspired to move to their historical homeland. Therefore, in the last year, with the growth of repatriation and the development of our ministry, we decided to consolidate this part of our work into a separate branch, expand our staff, and allocate additional resources for the development.

In the winter period of 2016-2017, we distributed more than a hundred warm blankets and sets of new kitchenware. We also distributed food packages, especially to families with many children. In the summertime we provided many persons/families with food baskets and, basically, we did everything possible to help. Our humanitarian warehouse is open several days a week.

One of the new directions of this ministry is offering lessons in Biblical Hebrew on a regular basis, supporting the desire of new olim to learn the Hebrew language, which will enable them to study the biblical texts in depth. From February to October 2017, we organized for the new olim six educational trips, the purpose of which was to introduce them to the Eretz Israel (Land of Israel), and to pass on the love for the country and our ancient biblical history. During these excursions, visiting places associated with some events described in the Bible, we talk about our calling as a nation to serve the Lord.

Last time we visited Gilgal, the place where the people of Israel renewed their covenant with God before entering the Promised Land (Joshua 5). This reminded us that, even today, the new immigrants returning to the land promised to our fathers should also renew their covenant with Him.

Today we set new goals for ourselves. Following the trends of Aliyah (immigration to Israel), we want to place a bigger emphasis on attracting young families. We are plaining to offer seminars on topics that are relevant to young people: meetings with lawyers, family counselors, and business coaches, etc.

The strategic goal of all these projects is to awaken the thirst for spiritual fellowship among the new olim, inviting them to the “Aleph (Alpha) Course,” with the aim to pass on the Good News, thereby allowing them to restore their relationship with the Lord.

All this is not easy. It requires a lot of effort and human resources. It’s quite a costly project, but the Lord has all the funds in his hands, and He motivates his servants to use those funds according to the direction of the Spirit of God.

We ask you to pray for this work while we reach out to “Olim” and to participate in the educational and humanitarian projects of “Return to Zion Ministry” according to your possibilities.

Many blessings to you,

Alexey Bezalel
Project manager of the Olim Project
Return to Zion Ministry
Haifa, Israel

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