Israel absorbs 15,000 new olim since the outbreak of the Ukraine war

Two months after the outbreak of hostilities, the Aliyah and Integration Ministry received about 8,800 new immigrants from Ukraine, about 5,800 from Russia and about 400 new immigrants from Belarus.

 Israel's Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata (Illustrative). (photo credit: ALIYAH AND INTEGRATION MINISTRY)
Israel's Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata (Illustrative).
(photo credit: ALIYAH AND INTEGRATION MINISTRY)

The Aliyah and Integration Ministry on Monday said that more than 15,000 new immigrants had arrived in Israel in two months of rescue, immigration and absorption operations since the outbreak of war in Ukraine on February 24.

During that time, employees of the ministry processed some 8,800 new immigrants from Ukraine, approximately 5,800 from Russia and about 400 from Belarus, as part of the “Immigrants Come Home” emergency operation. An additional 10,000-plus people from Ukraine, Russia and surrounding countries have applied for immigration whom the ministry expects to absorb in the upcoming months.

According to data published by the ministry, 24% of the new immigrants are children and adolescents ages 0-17, 18% are adults ages 66 and above, 22% are 18-35, 20% are 36-50 and about 16% are ages 51-65.

The data also show that most of the immigrants (32%) of working age (22-60 years) are engaged in marketing, services and trade. Others work in the fields of technology, engineering, accounting, law and medicine. As a result of emigration laws in Ukraine, men of fighting age have not been allowed to leave the country since the war began. As a result, twice as many female immigrants have arrived than men.

Thanks to a recently approved housing plan, led by Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata in collaboration with the ministers of housing and finance, many of the immigrants have already moved to permanent housing. Less than 3,000 of the new immigrants are still living in hotels rented by the ministry.

 Ukrainian refugees are seen arriving in Israel as part of Operation Israeli Guarantee, on March 6, 2022. (credit: Sraya Diamant/GPO) Ukrainian refugees are seen arriving in Israel as part of Operation Israeli Guarantee, on March 6, 2022. (credit: Sraya Diamant/GPO)

Many of the immigrants from Ukraine (932) decided to settle in Jerusalem. However, the leading city in the absorption of immigrants has been Netanya, which has so far absorbed 1,543 immigrants. After Netanya, Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv have been the number two, three and four choices, respectively.

The ministry said on Monday that it particularly “sees the integration of immigrants in the education system as a significant task.” In cooperation with the Education Ministry, as of mid-April, about 650 children have been absorbed into educational institutions in 50 different locations, most of them in primary school.

In addition, the ministry is currently operating some 40 Hebrew Ulpan Hebrew-language programs for adults.

Tamano Shata said this week, “Two months into the war in Ukraine, there is a great national effort in the absorption of immigrants. At the moment we have reached the absorption of more than 15,000 new immigrants and this is just the beginning. The employees of the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration absorbed the immigrants with dedication and sensitivity, helping them to integrate into Israeli society and establish a new life here in Israel.... A large part of the new immigrants started learning Hebrew [and] have already integrated into the employment market and the education system. The ministry also expects tens of thousands more new immigrants.”