I filmed this part of a documentary for Vice News in Eastern Ukraine towards the end of 2015. Shot on Sony FS5
In the wake of recent terror attacks in Europe — several of which targeted Jewish institutions — some politicians and religious leaders have predicted an exodus of Jewish people from the continent. In some ways, the numbers stack up. Last year, a record 8,000 Jews arrived in Israel from France — with another 15,000 coming from Eastern Europe.
But some critics argue that reports of Jewish flight are overblown; they accuse Israel of taking advantage of fears in Europe to attract new immigrants and serve the interests of the Israeli state. “We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in February 2015. “I would like to tell all European Jews and all Jews wherever they are: Israel is the home of every Jew.”
VICE News investigates these predictions of a mass Jewish migration — and the forces behind them.
In part two of a three-part series, VICE News travels to Ukraine to meet some of the many Ukrainian Jews who are leaving their war-ravaged homeland for Israel. We meet residents of a makeshift transit camp and attend an information seminar on the benefits of life in the Middle East, both organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel.