With the Jewish New Year (5771) rapidly approaching, the Jewish Agency for Israel released statistics yesterday that indicate aliyah – immigration to Israel under the Law of Return – continues to steadily increase. According to the numbers, 17,880 new immigrants came to Israel in the Jewish year 5770, an 18% increase from the previous year.
Of the total number of immigrants, around 5,130 people made aliyah from English speaking countries during the year 5770, as opposed to 5,030 during 5769. From the U.S. – 3,350 people migrated, compared to 3,120 last year. There was also an increase in the number of new immigrants from Western Europe from 2,090 last year to 2,420 this year.
In addition, there was a rise in numbers from Latin America and Spanish speaking countries: 1,360 in 5770, compared to 1,230 in 5769. Moreover, this past year Israel became home to new immigrants from what might be considered somewhat unusual places such as Thailand, Hong Kong, New Caledonia, Japan, Tunisia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Angola and Uganda.
According to Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, “Aliyah is a strategic asset for Israel. It is the most significant way that Diaspora Jewry interacts with Israeli society. The rise in aliyah,” he continued, “is even more impressive because of the de-legitimization campaign against Israel going on today around the world.” Indeed, this news is a joyous way for Israel and world Jewry to begin the New Year.