Aliyah up 5% in 2018

French aliyah declines by 25 percent, while Russian aliyah up 45%,

New Olim from Ukraine, December 24th, 2018. (photo credit: OLIVIA FITUSSI)
New Olim from Ukraine, December 24th, 2018.
(photo credit: OLIVIA FITUSSI)
The Jewish Agency reported a five percent increase in aliyah to Israel in 2018, with that increase coming largely from Russia which witnessed a 45% jump in the rate of immigration.
According to the figures, more than 29,600 people immigrated to Israel from around the world this year, compared with 28,220 new immigrants in 2017, a 5-percent increase.
The country with the largest number of olim (immigrants to Israel) in 2018 was Russia, with more than 10,500 immigrants, representing a 45-percent increase from last year.
Approximately 6,500 people made Aliyah from Ukraine, although this represents a 9% decrease from 2017.
Some 3,550 individuals immigrated to Israel from the US and Canada, similar to last year’s figure, according to data coordinated with Nefesh B'Nefesh.
Another 2,660 made Aliyah from France, representing a 25% decrease from 2017.
The decrease in immigration from France has been strongly criticized, notably by Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett who recently called for a plan of action to be drawn up to encourage and assist French Jews to make aliyah, large numbers of whom have expressed interest in moving to the Jewish state.
Elsewhere, more than 660 immigrants came from Brazil and over 330 arrived from the United Kingdom, both decreases of 4 percent.
More than 330 new immigrants arrived from Argentina in 2018, a 17-percent rise from last year, and over 320 came from South Africaa 2-percent increase.
“I welcome this year’s increase in the number of immigrants to Israel,” said Jewish Agency Chairman of the Executive Isaac Herzog.
“Every Jew who comes to Israel and establishes a home here completes another piece of the wonderful mosaic of the Jewish people in their historic homeland. After 70 years of the state’s independence and the tremendous number of olim who have already made it to Israel, the potential for even greater Aliyah remains significant, and The Jewish Agency will continue to work to achieve that goal.”