Almost 30,00 Jews from around the world arrived in Israel to make it their new home in 2018.
By Jack Gold, World Israel News
More than 29,600 Jews made Aliyah (immigrated to Israel) from around the world in 2018, compared with 28,220 in 2017, marking a five-percent increase, according to data released by the Jewish Agency on Sunday.
The largest group of Olim, some 10,500 immigrants, came from Russia, representing a 45-percent increase from last year. About 6,500 came from Ukraine, a nine-percent decrease from 2017. The situation the country has stabilized, ebbing the flow of emigrants.
About 3,550 Jews left the U.S. and Canada to call Israel their home, according to data provided by Nefesh B’Nefesh, which facilitates Aliyah from North America.
The 330 immigrants from Argentina marked a 17-percent rise from last year, and the more-than-320 from South Africa represented a two-percent increase.
Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog welcomed the immigrants, saying that “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,” he vowed.
Some 3.5 million people have made Aliyah since 1948, making up 42 percent of the total population.
In 2018, over 70 years after the Holocaust, the world’s largest Jewish population lives in Israel. This figure represents 43 percent of world Jewry.