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Making Aliyah – Immigration to Israel up 28% in 2019

Immigration to Israel is on the rise, while emigration from the Jewish state continues to decline.

Last month, Immigration Minister Yoav Galant (Likud) celebrated the arrival of 242 new immigrants from the United States and Canada with a Facebook post, touting a 21% increase in Aliyah, or immigration to Israel, over the past 12 months.

A report Monday by Globes, however, found that the increase in the rate of immigration since 2019 began is even higher, with the number of immigrants who arrived in Israel during the first seven months of 2019 up 28% over the number of immigrants during the same period in 2018.

If Israeli citizens born abroad are included, a total of 20,506 immigrants made Aliyah to Israel between January 1st and July 31st 2019, compared to 15,965 immigrants who moved to Israel during that same period in 2018.

By year’s end in 2018, a total of 31,601 immigrants had moved to Israel.

The increased level of immigration is due largely to a surge in the number of immigrants from Russia, a trend which began in 2018.

According to a December 27th, 2018 report by the Jewish Agency, 2018 saw a 45% increase in immigration from Russia, even as immigration from other Eastern European countries like Ukraine declined in 2018. More than 10,500 immigrants from Russia moved to Israel in 2018.

Immigration from Eastern Europe continued to increase in 2019, and by mid-year, it accounted for 74% of all immigration to Israel.

Immigrants from countries that were part of the former Soviet Union or were under its influence that have not yet joined the European Union accounted for two thirds of the 12,366 immigrants in the first half of 2018. They comprised 74 percent of the figures for this year.

The vast majority of Russian-speaking immigrants came from Russia, where aliyah (immigration to Israel) rose by 72 percent to 7,884 arrivals this year, and Ukraine, which saw a nine-percent rise to 3,007 immigrants.

Aliyah from the United States remained without major changes with 910 arrivals in the first half of 2018 and 843 in the months January to June of 2019.

French aliyah dropped by 21 percent, to 795 arrivals.