United Israel Appeal (UIA) Victoria is pleased to announce its plans to mark Yom Ha’Aliyah. It is a day to reflect upon the inspiring stories of Jews who have made the life-changing decision to return to our ancestral homeland, Eretz Yisrael. It is an opportunity to connect with our rich history and vibrant culture and to explore the various pathways for Aliyah – whether by choice or necessity.
Aliyah has been at the core of Keren Hayesod-UIA for over 100 years. Our commitment to rescuing Jews from countries of distress and building human capacity in Israel has, together with our strategic partner The Jewish Agency and the Government of Israel, enabled us to assist more than 3.5 million Jews make Israel their home.
Yom Ha'Aliyah coincides with parashat Lech Lecha (Saturday 28 October) the story of the first Aliyah – when G-d commanded Avraham to go “to the land that I will show you” – the land of Israel.
UIA will mark this occasion with a week of community engagements including education programs in the schools and addresses at aged care facilities. Representatives of the UIA board, professional team and donors will speak at a number of the synagogues on Shabbat regarding Aliyah.
The relevance of Aliyah is even more profound today. In 2022 over 75,000 Olim made Israel their home, predominantly from Russia and Ukraine. This year on average 4,000 olim a month are making Aliyah, predominantly from Russia. Our collective responsibility is to help them on their way and assist them to become productive citizens of Israel as quickly as possible.
Diana, a refugee from Ukraine, recalls, “I never expected I would need Israel the way I do now. As a Jew, its mere existence was a comfort for my soul and source of pride for my people, but my home was Ukraine. When our lives were turned upside down, we had a safe place and compassionate people we could turn to. I discovered exactly what the Jewish homeland meant. I feel that now with every fibre of my being.”
Israel is a thriving nation today because of the partnership between the People of Israel and Jews around the world. Since the turn of the 20th century, modern Aliyah has been one of the driving forces behind the incredible growth of pre-state and modern Israel. Not only in terms of people but also in terms of infrastructure, agriculture, technology, innovation and social development.