Jewish Agency: Aliya from Britain increases by 50% in 2009

Aliya from Great Britain increased by some 53 percent in the first quarter of 2009, according to data released Wednesday by the Jewish Agency for Israel. The figures, which showed that 201 British Jews had arrived in Israel between January and April this year compared to 113 during the same period the previous year and 107 in 2007, were encouraging, said a spokesman for JAFI. He said that the increase was a direct result of a recent media campaign "Aliyah - Find Your Way Home," which has utilized local media in Britain and due to changes in Israel's tax laws allowing new immigrants to keep their assets abroad for the first tens year in the country. Overall, aliya figures from Western European and other English-speaking countries also increased. From North America, 565 new olim arrived in the first quarter of this year, compared to 383 in 2008 and 313 in 2007; South African immigrants numbered 107 so far this year, with 68 in the beginning of 2008 and 45 in 2007.