Aliya from North America increasing

2007 sees largest number of immigrants from US and Canada in 25 years.

el al plane 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
el al plane 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Immigration from North America this year is expected to increase five to 10 percent over last year, marking the largest level of aliya from that region in a quarter century, the Jewish Agency reported Thursday. In 2006, 3,200 Americans and Canadians moved to Israel and adopted Israeli citizenship, the highest figure since 1983. On Monday, some 300 New York area residents who plan to move to Israel this summer will participate in a farewell ceremony hosted by the Jewish Agency in Manhattan, in conjunction with the Israel Consulate. Israel's Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman is scheduled to address the group. Similar farewell events have already been been held this month in Toronto, Boston, Miami, and Rockville, Maryland. "We are seeing a continued increase of olim of all religious streams and age groups," said Boaz Herman, head of the Aliya Department in North America. Herman noted that the Jewish Agency has registered immigrants ranging in age from several months to elderly individuals in their nineties. Herman noted that 70% of immigrants from North America were under 35, and nearly 40% were under 18. The oldest person thus far to make aliya in 2007 was a 94-year-old from Miami. A 90-year-old Holocaust survivor plans to move to Israel from New York this summer.