Breaking News

Where are you for Seder? Website pairs Israeli hosts with new Ukrainian immigrants

The government on Monday launched a new initiative to allow Israelis to host new immigrants from Ukraine for the Passover Seder, the ritual meal held at the start of the weeklong festival.

As of this week, over 10,000 people have immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union since Russia invaded Ukraine last month, sparking a bloody conflict that has created a massive refugee crisis in Eastern Europe. Thousands more are expected to arrive before the start of Passover next month.

In an effort to help ease their integration into Israeli society and in response to many offers of assistance from Israeli citizens, the Immigration and Absorption Ministry, along with the Jewish People Policy Institute think tank and Army Radio, launched its new initiative, in which Israelis offer to host new immigrants for the Seder meal by filling out an online form (Hebrew).

The program is called “Olim La’Hag” in Hebrew — literally “Going up to the holiday” — which is also a play on the fact that the Hebrew word for Jewish immigrants to Israel is also olim.

Alongside this initiative, the Immigration and Absorption Ministry also unveiled a new program to allow Israelis to offer various forms of assistance to the new immigrants from Ukraine, as well as those from Russia and Belarus, who have also been increasingly coming to Israel in the wake of Moscow’s war.

“In light of the requests from many Israelis to be brought in and to assist new immigrants, we at the Immigration and Absorption Ministry have launched a new website… the Coming Home portal,” Immigration and Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata said Tuesday.

“On the Coming Home portal, all of the rights of new immigrants will be put together, along with a database of people offering employment opportunities to immigrants, volunteers offering to assist immigrants with their medical appointments, and families looking to invite immigrants to be hosted for the Seder,” she said.

However, the Coming Home website was still largely not functional as of Tuesday afternoon, with nearly every button on the site leading to the same basic form.

The website, which includes information on the benefits offered by the state to new immigrants, is currently only available in Hebrew, though a dedicated Russian-speaking phone line is provided.

As of Tuesday morning, 10,485 new immigrants have arrived in Israel from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, with another 250 Ukrainian immigrants due to arrive later in the day.


Do you value The Times of Israel?

If so, we have a request. 

Every day, our journalists aim to keep you abreast of the most important developments that merit your attention. Millions of people rely on ToI for fast, fair and free coverage of Israel and the Jewish world. 

We care about Israel – and we know you do too. So today, we have an ask: show your appreciation for our work by joining The Times of Israel Community, an exclusive group for readers like you who appreciate and financially support our work. 


Yes, I’ll give


Yes, I’ll give

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this


You’re a dedicated reader

That’s why we started the Times of Israel ten years ago – to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So now we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we haven’t put up a paywall. But as the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.

For as little as $6 a month you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREE, as well as accessing exclusive content available only to Times of Israel Community members.

Thank you,
David Horovitz, Founding Editor of The Times of Israel


Join Our Community


Join Our Community

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this


https://www.timesofisrael.com/where-are-you-for-seder-website-pairs-israeli-hosts-with-new-ukrainian-immigrants/