15 Tamuz, 5760
45 Chechen Orphans, Rescued by Jewish Agency, Among Them the Jewish Girl, Natasha, Will Arrive in Israel Today
The Jewish orphan, Natasha, who was rescued from the fighting in Chechnya by the Jewish Agency of Israel, will arrive in Israel today, together with 44 of her friends from the Grozny orphanage. Natasha will join the Jewish Agency's 'Chalom' program after years of wandering since having been orphaned. The group will be accompanied by the Jewish Agency's emissary in Pyatigorsk, Abba Feigin, who has taken care of the orphans over the past nine months and Dr. Aslanbeck Donbayev, the head of the orphanage who has been called a Chechen Janus Korjack.
The orphans and ten caregivers will spend four months of rest and rehabilitation at the Hadassah Neurim Youth Village, which is jointly run by the Jewish Agency and the Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America.
The connection between the Jewish Agency and the orphans was first facilitated in November, by Reuters correspondence Maria Eismont, who first reported the story of the starving and frozen Chechen orphans, among them Jews who fled the bombing of Grozny to the nearby Republic of Ingushetia. Upon hearing the news of the children's plight, Jewish Agency delegation head in Russia, Alla Levy was dispatched to Ingushetia to locate the children. The Jewish Agency officials were stunned by the terrible conditions in which the children were living and when it was ascertained that among them was a Jewish girl the Jewish Agency decided to adopt all the orphans.
Six weeks ago the Jewish Agency moved all the orphans from a temporary camp in Ingushetia to a convalescent home in the nearby town of Pyatigorsk. Natasha, the Jewish girl, had already been brought half a year ago to Pyatigorsk, where she has in the meantime completed her high school education and has begun to learn Hebrew at the Jewish Agency's local ulpan (Hebrew learning center). In Israel, Natasha will study on the 'Chalom' program, which prepares youngsters to learn a profession.
The orphans will arrive on Tuesday July 18 on Minvody Avia flight #3011, which lands at Ben Gurion International Airport at A short ceremony will take place in the Arrivals Hall, after customs clearance.
Ronnie Vinnikov 053 847 492, and Hagit Halali 053 467 053 will be at Ben Gurion Airport for all information on site.
For further information contact: Michael Jankelowitz
Liaison to Foreign Press and Media, JAFI