Looking Forward to Safety in Israel | The Jewish AgencyLooking Forward to ‘Safety and Community’ in Israel
Polina, a Ukrainian refugee

Looking Forward to ‘Safety and Community’ in Israel

Looking Forward to ‘Safety and Community’ in Israel
Leaving her parents behind, Polina, 20, escaped from Kyiv on her own and looks forward to starting over in Israel, sharing “I feel lucky that I was able to leave Ukraine… and that I have a place to go.”

Polina | Photo: The Jewish Agency

Polina Primislova, 20, is an only child from Kyiv. Her parents have remained in Kyiv because her father is still of recruitment age for the army. The family’s house is on the outskirts of the city, where it is particularly dangerous. Polina’s mother is not ready to leave her husband or her elderly parents.

“I told my father, ‘I want to leave for Israel.’ He supported me. My mother was not as eager to say goodbye, but within two days, I was out of Kyiv,” Polina shared.

Polina decided she wanted to live in Israel after participating in a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip in 2019. The problem was, she was in high school at the time and did not want to make Aliyah before graduation.

“My parents worked all their lives to get a good home, cars, a vacation home, status, and so many other things,” said Polina. “It’s hard for them to start over again in Israel. They prefer to hope and believe that Ukraine will succeed in recovering.”

Polina arrived in Truskavets exhausted, with nothing except a small backpack. She will never forget seeing that whole city ruined and in flames.

“In the early days of the war, every loud noise made me scared and stressed,” she recalled. “Only now am I slowly starting to recover. I also worry constantly about my parents and my friends. I hear stories every day that give me nightmares and anxieties about the war. I do not have anyone in Israel.”

At the same time, Polina added, “I’m sure I’ll be fine in Israel. I feel lucky that I was able to leave Ukraine like this, and that I have a place to go. I would love to come to a kibbutz at first, to feel safety and community.”