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aliyah from france

PM Netanyahu addresses new arrivals from France at the Jerusalem Gardens Hotel on Feb. 8, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Aliyah hit a 12-year high in 2015, with the arrival of more than 30,000 new immigrants from around the world. More than 50% are under the age of 30.

The year 2014 experienced a 10% increase in aliyah (immigration to Israel) since 2014, according to data compiled by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption. It is at the highest level since 2003.

More than 30,000 olim arrived in 2015, as compared to some 27,500 the previous year.

“We are in a rare window of opportunity,” said Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Ze’ev Elkin. “While we are busy with the day-to-day problems of Israel, we did not pay attention to this year’s great development: the number of immigrants exceeded 30,000 for the first time in more than a decade. The number of immigrants rose by 50% in the past two years, and we haven’t heard the last word. It is our duty to do everything necessary to take advantage of this rare opportunity and invest efforts in both immigrant absorption and Aliyah encouragement, so that a figure of 50,000 immigrants in one year does not seem imaginary. If we will it, it is no dream.”

Highest Number from France, Ukraine Comes Second

The highest number of new immigrants came from France for the second year in a row. The number increased this year, however, from 7,200 in 2014 to 7,900 – a record high for French aliyah.

Some 7,000 new immigrants arrived from the Ukraine, marking a 16% increase from 2014, when approximately 6,000 made aliyah.

Aliyah from Russia – 6,600 came in 2015 – increased by 40% since 2014 (4,900 immigrants), and by 60% in comparison to 2013 (4,161).

natan sharansky

“Israel invests their lives with meaning that they cannot find elsewhere,” said Natan Sharansky of the Jewish Agency for Israel. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Figures for 2015 – not final, but based on preliminary estimates – point to an overall 25% increase in aliyah from eastern Europe, including the Former Soviet Union, with the arrival of some 15,000 immigrants, compared to 12,300 in 2014.

Aliyah from western Europe over the past year increased by 6%, with 9,330 arrivals compared to 8,880 in 2014. Approximately 3,870 olim came from the United States and Canada, marking an increase from 3,770.

“The high number of immigrants, particularly from western countries, attests to the drawing power of the Zionist idea,” Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel, stated. “The fact that immigrants choose to come to Israel is a sign that Israel invests their lives with meaning that they cannot find elsewhere. This choice requires that we make every effort to enable them to become immediately integrated in the workforce and in the education system, so that they, like those who came before them, may put down roots in Israel and enrich Israeli society.”

Among the olim in 2015, 50% were under the age of 30. Among them, 8,200 were under the age of 19, and 6,950 were between the ages of 20 and 29. The youngest arrived in September at the age of a month and a half. The oldest, 97, came in July.

Tel Aviv absorbed the most immigrants in 2015, with the arrival of 3,650 new residents from abroad. Netanya came in second with 3,500 immigrants; Jerusalem, 3,030; and Haifa, 2,250.

By: United with Israel Staff
With files from The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Immigration Absorption and Aliyah

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Source: United with Israel