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Report: Aliyah from Former Soviet Union Countries Up 434% in 2023

March 15, 2023

by: Kate Norman

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Immigrants arriving in Israel from Ukraine in March 2022.

Wednesday, 15 March 2023 | In the first two months of 2023, Israel saw a 434% increase of immigration from former Soviet Union countries compared to the same time frame last year, the Jerusalem Post reported, citing a report from the Jewish Agency.

The spike in new olim (immigrants) from former Soviet countries is being attributed to the Russian–Ukrainian war. The Jewish Agency reported that 11,516 olim have made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) in January and February of 2023, comprising 92% of all the immigrants who arrived in Israel during that time period.

Of the 11,516 olim, the Jerusalem Post reported, 10,203 came from Russia—seven times more than in the same timeframe last year. The number coming from Ukraine was much smaller, with only 583, though still a 32% increase compared to the same time last year.

Some 388 olim arrived from Belarus, according to the report, an increase of 229%, and another 342 from other former Soviet states, a spike of 235% compared to last year.

Meanwhile, the number of immigrants from Western countries has dropped, the Jerusalem Post reported, citing the same information from the Jewish Agency. The Jewish state saw only 260 new olim from Western nations in the first two months of 2023, which is a 37% drop from the 414 in the same time period last year.

Specifically, the report noted a drop in aliyah from the United Kingdom by 48%, a 19% drop from Australia and New Zealand, a 37% decline from South Africa, and a sharp decrease of 60% from France, which the Jerusalem Post noted has the largest Jewish community in Europe.

The numbers coming from Latin America also decreased by 36%, the Jerusalem Post reported, with a 45% decrease from Argentina and a 33% decrease from Brazil.

The report did not account for the drop in aliyah from the West.

Posted on March 15, 2023

Source: (Bridges for Peace, March 15, 2023)

Photo Credit: YossiZamir/Keren HaYesod

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