My name is Ilana. I am 19 years old and will be making Aliyah in June.  I made this extremely challenging decision for many reasons, but I would like to share one specific reason with all of you.

During WWII, my grandmother was taken to Birkenau Extermination Camp in Poland when she was 14 years old. During an uprising one fateful night, my grandmother and a few other lucky individuals managed to escape.

Shortly after their triumphant breakout, they were faced with yet another challenge, they needed to hide before being caught again. A Christian family that ran a cave for runaways found them. The family brought food to my grandmother and many other helpless individuals as often as possible.

While in the cave for over 9 months, my grandmother met a widowed man, also from Poland, who had lost his wife and children in the chaos of the war. After the liberation, the two fell in love, married and created their own family. For their own happiness they were “fruitful and multiplied,” despite the efforts of the Nazis to decimate the entire Jewish population.

If it were not for extraordinary and selfless people like the Christian family who hid my grandparents, I would not be here today. I can only imagine how proud my grandparents would be to see their granddaughter now. It is groups like Operation Exodus USA  that make me hopeful of a peaceful and united world.”


Operation Exodus USA is a Christian organization that exists to assist the Jewish people immigrating to Israel. They are affiliated with Ebenezer Emergency Fund International, a ministry started in the United Kingdom in 1991 by Gustav Scheller. In 2018 Operation Exodus USA Aliyah had assisted 805 individuals and families in making their dreams come true

To learn more about Operation Exodus USA, visit their website at or ask your Jewish Agency Shliach