NEW YORK (PIX11) — In a harrowing journey to escape the turmoil in the Middle East, an Israeli woman and two of her children have found refuge in New York City.
Orit Wolkin is from Israel and said her family spent several days with her in-laws, who have bomb shelters in their homes. However, even that didn’t provide a sense of safety for Wolkin, who feared a ground invasion by Hamas.
“We were kind of locked in the houses, and then the kids got scared,” said Wolkin. “They’re like, even when we’re in the shelter, they’re like, how do we know that they’re not going to come into our houses, and there were rumors that there were Hamas terrorists in Tel Aviv, so that was scary.”
She says she made the tough decision to fly to New York with two of her children, hoping to flee to safety, leaving behind her oldest son and husband, who stayed in Israel to help others in need.
“My oldest child wouldn’t go,” Wolkin said. “He’s volunteering, he’s staying to take care of kids, of families, and just to help in Israel. I had a discussion with my husband, and I think the main point was the concern that we were going to be hit very hard from the North and the airports are going to be shut down.”
After settling into her apartment, Wolkin has been helping assist other Israeli families arriving in New York, hoping to take her mind off the conflict and praying for better days ahead.
“I’d rather come to New York with my kids when there are quiet times in Israel,” said Wolkin. “You can’t really enjoy anything when so many people are suffering.”
Wolkin told PIX11 her move to the city is temporary, and she’s looking forward to returning home when things are safer.