Sergei and Valentina Zavodskich with their children Veronica, 10, and Yuliana, 3The Jewish Agency for Israel ©, Sarah Bronson

“We are in Israel now and we are not scared.”

Sergei asks his three-year-old, in Hebrew, “Are you strong?” and she answers, in Russian, a resounding “Da!”


What inspired you to make Aliyah?

​Even before the current violent crisis started in Ukraine, we were thinking about making Aliyah. There is a bad economic situation there, and we have been talking about Aliyah for two years. But now, with what’s going on there, we figured now is the time to go. We came as part of a group of 25 families who have joined The Jewish Agency’s Tel Ran absorption program, which includes five months of Hebrew-language courses and eight months of professional training in software engineering. We are grateful to The Jewish Agency donor who sponsored our group.

How are you dealing with the war going on in Israel today?

​We are in Israel now and we are not scared. We knew what we were coming to. We know the IDF is strong and we’ll be OK. They’ll do what they have to do. Our children are also OK​. For them, the sirens are just part of the flow of the day.

Have you been involved in volunteering efforts here in southern Israel?

​Yesterday, we visited injured soldiers at Soroka Hospital to bring them fruit and thank them for their service and sacrifice. We want to participate in thanking the soldiers for their extreme bravery. No one should ask Israel to stop defending themselves.