President Herzog: Jews around world interpret COVID-19 as call for aliyah

Isaac Herzog calls on Israel to innovate ways to attract and absorb immigrant. 

By TPS

The COVID-19 pandemic is being interpreted by Jews around the world as a call to come to Israel, and the Jewish state must be ready for them, President Isaac Herzog said.

Herzog participated on Thursday in an event in honor of Yom HaAliyah hosted by Gvahim, a non-profit that provides networks, tools, knowledge, and support to new immigrants and returning expatriates to help them find employment or build businesses in Israel.

“I assume that I am not telling you anything new when I say that COVID-19 sprung a pleasant surprise on some people, in terms of aliyah to Israel. Despite the challenges dictated by the coronavirus pandemic, Jews all around the world have interpreted the situation as a call to come here, as an opportunity to come home,” he noted

“Since this is the case, this is the best possible time—indeed, this is our duty, as the State of Israel—to encourage innovation, employment, and integration into industry among the men and women making aliyah to Israel,” he stated.

Aliyah to Israel has increased by 31 percent in 2021 so far with 20,360 olim (immigrants to Israel), compared to 15,598 during the corresponding period last year, according to a report released Sunday by the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Israel saw a dramatic rise in aliyah despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its related limitations on international travel.

While serving as Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Herzog told the Knesset in August 2020 that the Jewish state expects a quarter of a million olim in the next 3-5 years, a wave of immigration following the global COVID-19 crisis.