Friday, 4 January 2019 | Jewish immigration to Israel rose by some 5% in 2018 compared to the previous year, with the largest number of immigrants arriving from countries of the former Soviet Union.
The figures released by the Jewish Agency, which is the primary organization that encourages “aliyah” (Jewish immigration to Israel), show that over 29,600 people immigrated to Israel this year, compared to 28,220 olim (Jewish immigrants) who came to the country in 2017.
Immigration from Russia spiked by some 45% from 2017, with over 10,500 Jewish immigrants relocating to Israel, with another 6,500 olim arriving from Ukraine, although in this case the agency registered a 9% drop from last year.
The number of immigrants making their way from the United States and Canada remained steady, with 3,550 people arriving in Israel in 2018. The number shows no significant change compared to the previous year.
Meanwhile, there has been a 25% drop from last year in the number of Jewish immigrants coming from France, with only 2,660 making aliyah in 2018. The number of people arriving from the United Kingdom and Brazil also registered a 4% decline, with 660 and 330 olim making their way to Israel in 2018, respectively.
There has been an increase in the number of people coming from Argentina (17%) and South Africa (2%), although in both cases the figures still remained relatively low, with only 330 and 320 new olim relocating to the Jewish state.
Jewish Agency Executive Chairman Isaac Herzog said he welcomes the overall increase in Jewish immigration to Israel.
“Every Jew who comes to Israel and establishes a home here completes another piece of the wonderful mosaic of the Jewish people in their historic homeland. After 70 years of the state’s independence and the tremendous number of olim who have already made it to Israel, the potential for even greater aliyah remains significant, and The Jewish Agency will continue to work to achieve that goal,” Herzog said.
What a privilege to live in a time where we can see God's promises of bringing the Jewish people home from the four corners of the earth coming to pass. Prophecy is being fulfilled in front of our eyes!
Yet we believe God calls us to be more than spectators marveling at His awesome plans unfolding. At Bridges for Peace we are partnering with God to help those who come home settle into life in Israel. Many immigrants arrive in Israel with meager belongings, little savings and without the means to support themselves. They are in desperate need of a helping hand as they settle into a foreign country and culture, learn a new language and find employment—all while paying the bills and putting food on the table. Bridges for Peace offers that helping hand. We deliver regular food parcels, help with transportation and offer encouragement and support.
As the number of Jews returning to Israel continues to rise, many more will be in need of our assistance. With your support, we will be able to lend them the helping hand they so desperately require. Will you please consider partnering with God as He brings His people home by donating to our New Immigrant Fund?
Posted on January 4, 2019
Photo Credit: Avi Hayun - Keren Hayesod
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