Israel receives 70,000 new immigrants in 2022, highest rate in decades

An analysis of Aliyah trends in 2022 reveals that most olim this year came from Russia and Ukraine.

 Chairman of The Jewish Agency Major General (Res.) Doron Almog with olim who immigrated to Israel this year from around the world. (photo credit: GUY YECHIELY)
Chairman of The Jewish Agency Major General (Res.) Doron Almog with olim who immigrated to Israel this year from around the world.
(photo credit: GUY YECHIELY)

Some 70,000 new immigrants from 95 countries made aliyah in 2022 with the assistance of the Jewish Agency and the Aliyah and Integration Ministry, the agency said in a special report published on Thursday. It was the largest number of olim to arrive in 23 years and a dramatic increase over the previous year when only 28,600 new immigrants were welcomed.

Most of the immigrants came from Russia and Ukraine, according to the report that also showed that the rate of aliyah from most countries has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

The Jewish Agency’s operation to rescue Jews from Ukraine following Russia’s invasion in February was unprecedented. Working together with Israel’s government and global Jewish communities, led by The Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod, it launched operations on the ground in countries bordering Ukraine within 24 hours of the invasion.

The agency opened centers to receive the wave of Jewish refugees, providing them with warm beds, meals, medical care and activities for children. It reported that 290,000 meals were distributed in these centers, and that thousands of refugees, including hundreds of elderly Holocaust survivors, were brought to Israel on rescue flights.

Emergency grants were also transferred to strengthen Jewish communities within Ukraine, and 354 tons of personal equipment were collected in Israel and distributed. Aliyah from Ukraine was carried out in cooperation with many partners, including the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Nativ, the Interior Ministry, IFCJ and Ofek Israeli.

 Chairman of The Jewish Agency Major General (Res.) Doron Almog returned to Israel with immigrants from Ethiopia who made Aliyah as part of Operation Tzur Israel. (credit: SIVAN FARAG) Chairman of The Jewish Agency Major General (Res.) Doron Almog returned to Israel with immigrants from Ethiopia who made Aliyah as part of Operation Tzur Israel. (credit: SIVAN FARAG)

Data for the period between January 1 and December 1 this year shows that 37,364 olim arrived from Russia and 14,680 came from Ukraine.

Elsewhere, 3,500 new immigrants arrived from North America, with the assistance from Nefesh B’Nefesh, 2,049 from France, 1,993 from Belarus, 1,498 from Ethiopia as part of Operation Tzur Israel, 985 from Argentina, 526 from Britain, 426 from South Africa and 356 from Brazil.

Approximately 27% (about 19,000) of this year’s olim are young people aged 18-35, including professionals in fields where there is a labor shortage in Israel, such as medicine, engineering and education.

Around 24% (16,500) are children and teenagers aged 0-17, 22% are 36-50, 14% are 51-64, and 13% are 65 and over.

Jewish Agency 2022 achievements and 2023 plans

In light of the surge in new arrivals, the Jewish Agency said it was preparing to operate a new model of “open absorption centers” where young olim will live in the same apartment building and receive community support services.

It will also open a first-of-its-kind center for lone soldiers (those without family members living in Israel) in Tel Aviv as part of the Knafayim (Wings) program. A joint initiative of The Jewish Agency, the Mirage Foundation, Israel Spirit and Keren Hayesod, the program provided a supportive framework for 2,200 lone soldiers this year – from those preparing for military service to those who have been discharged and are establishing their lives as civilians.

Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Executive, Doron Almog, reflected on the organization’s activities this year. “It was a dramatic year that emphasized the value of mutual responsibility among the Jewish people, during which the Jewish Agency helped strengthen the resilience of Jewish communities, empowered weaker populations in Israel, brought tens of thousands of olim, saved lives from all over Ukraine and brought them to a safe harbor in Israel. Aliyah is of existential importance to the State of Israel, both at the practical and moral levels.”

In addition, the Agency shared that about 12,000 young Jews from 60 countries came to leadership, volunteering and career programs in Israel as part of Masa Israel Journey, a joint program with the government.

 A PROTEST was held in March outside the home of Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked against the government’s policy of deporting some Ukrainian  refugees. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90) A PROTEST was held in March outside the home of Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked against the government’s policy of deporting some Ukrainian refugees. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

In light of the surge in new arrivals, the Jewish Agency said it was preparing to operate a new model of “open absorption centers” where young olim will live in the same apartment building and receive community support services.

It will also open a first-of-its-kind center for lone soldiers (those without family members living in Israel) in Tel Aviv as part of the Knafayim (Wings) program. A joint initiative of The Jewish Agency, the Mirage Foundation, Israel Spirit and Keren Hayesod, the program provided a supportive framework for 2,200 lone soldiers this year – from those preparing for military service to those who have been discharged and are establishing their lives as civilians.

Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Executive, Doron Almog, reflected on the organization’s activities this year. “It was a dramatic year that emphasized the value of mutual responsibility among the Jewish people, during which the Jewish Agency helped strengthen the resilience of Jewish communities, empowered weaker populations in Israel, brought tens of thousands of olim, saved lives from all over Ukraine and brought them to a safe harbor in Israel. Aliyah is of existential importance to the State of Israel, both at the practical and moral levels.”

In addition, the Agency shared that about 12,000 young Jews from 60 countries came to leadership, volunteering and career programs in Israel as part of Masa Israel Journey, a joint program with the government.