The Jewish Agency reveals that more than 70,000 people, mostly Russians and Ukrainians, have made Aliyah
A record number of foreign Jews immigrated to Israel in 2022, the nonprofit Jewish Agency said Thursday, attributing its efforts to encourage Russian and Ukrainian Jews to make the move – called “Aliyah” – to Israel. their religious homeland.
More than 70,000 immigrants – “olim chadashim“in Hebrew – from 95 different countries have arrived in Israel since January, the agency revealed – the highest number in 23 years. The vast majority are from Russia (37,364) and Ukraine (14,680), with the number of Russian immigrants alone exceeding the total number of people who emigrated to Israel in 2021, a year that saw just 28,600 people make the trip.
Jews from North America were the third largest immigrant group (3,500), followed by France (2,049), Belarus (1,993) and Ethiopia (1,498).
About 19,000 – 27% – of the year’s newcomers are between the ages of 18 and 35, a demographic prized by the Jewish Agency for its ability to “revitalize Israeli society and economy.” 24% (16,500) are under 18, 22% are between 36 and 50, and 14% are between 51 and 64. Only 13% are over 65, according to the agency.
The nonprofit organization appeared to credit its “Immigrants go home“, launched in February after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, for the number of arrivals higher than usual, calling the response “unprecedented.”
The program was so successful that the agency reportedly plans to establish several “open integration centersfor newcomers, where they can live together and benefit from community support services. The agency also sent 2,180 representatives to Jewish communities in 65 different countries this year.
Russia ordered the Jewish Agency to end its operations in the country in July, accusing it of violating local laws with its collection of data on Russian citizens.
Any Jew with one or more Jewish grandparents can make Aliyah to Israel and become a citizen under the country’s Law of Return. While polls have shown the law is widely popular, some argue it allows too many non-Jews — especially those from the former USSR — to settle in Israel, which in 2018 adopted a law affirming that only Jews can have the right to self-determination within its borders.
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