Jewish Agency: 17,880 immigrants arrived in 5770

Aliya increases for second year running; 7,340 olim come from from FSU; aliya from English-speaking countries roughly the same.

nefesh olim 311 (photo credit: Ben Hartman)
nefesh olim 311
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Some 17,880 olim arrived in Israel during the Hebrew year 5770, an increase of 2,700 people from the year before, according to data released by the Jewish Agency on Saturday.
The biggest rise in numbers came from immigrants from the former Soviet Union: This year 7,340 people moved from CIS countries to Israel in comparison to 6,340 the previous year. 
The number of olim from English-speaking countries stayed roughly the same. Over the last 12 month period 5,130 people came from North America, the UK, South Africa and Australia as opposed to 5,030 the year before.
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Aliya from France also saw a rise in numbers with 2,420 arriving this year, up by almost 400 olim a year. 
“Aliya is a strategic asset for Israel,” said Natan Sharansky, head of the Jewish Agency. “It is the most significant expression of the Diaspora with Israeli society. The rise in aliya is even more moving because of the delegitimization campaign against Israel carried out around the world these days.”
While most olim came from countries with established Jewish populations some came from unexpected countries including Japan, New Caledonia, Angola and Uganda.