Largest number of olim in 2 decades have arrived this past year

Thousands more from around the world have arrived this year in the shadow of the coronavirus crisis, which has increased interest in aliyah.

 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)

Some 38,000 new immigrants have arrived in Israel since Independence Day 2021, including thousands of families and young olim who came to build their future, integrating into programs supported by the Jewish Agency and the Aliyah and Integration Ministry, the Jewish Agency reported Sunday. They will mark their first Independence Day as Israelis this week.

That represents the highest number of olim in the past two decades and is due, in part, to the wave of immigrants who have arrived during the war in Ukraine, mostly in rescue operations conducted by the Jewish Agency in cooperation with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the Jewish Agency said.

The olim were housed at hotels in Israel with assistance from the Aliyah and Integration Ministry. Thousands more from around the world have arrived this year in the shadow of the coronavirus crisis, which has increased interest in aliyah.

About half of the olim are from Ukraine and Russia, while some 4,000 came from the US and 3,700 from France, the Jewish Agency said. More than 1,000 came from Belarus and Argentina, more than 700 from the UK, 600 from South Africa, 500 from Brazil, 400 from Canada and fewer from Australia, Germany, Belgium, Chile, Italy and other countries, it said.

In addition, olim from Ethiopia arrived as part of Operation Tzur Israel, which is expected to be renewed soon by the Jewish Agency and the Aliyah and Integration Ministry.

WZO CHAIRMAN Yaakov Hagoel poses for a picture at the World Zionist Organization offices in Jerusalem. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)WZO CHAIRMAN Yaakov Hagoel poses for a picture at the World Zionist Organization offices in Jerusalem. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Yaakov Hagoel, chairman of the World Zionist Organization and acting chairman of the Jewish Agency, met Sunday with hundreds of young immigrants at the organization’s Ulpan Etzion absorption center in Jerusalem.

“Every Jew who immigrates to Israel contributes to the resilience of the state and the strengthening of Israeli society,” he said. “The Jewish Agency, which is currently working to rescue the Jews of Ukraine and bring them to Israel, will continue rescue operations from anywhere in the world and will continue to help thousands of Jews from around the world realize the Zionist dream.”