Study shows increase in non-Jews immigrating to Israel

A large number of non-Jews are moving to the Jewish State, according to data presented on Monday by the Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel provides citizenship, under article 4a of the Law of Return, to the spouse, child or grandchild of a Jew. According to data released by Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority, over the last eight years 86 percent of non-Jewish immigrants were given citizenship. Of those who emigrated from the U.S., nearly  70 percent of them were  not Jewish.

To be considered legally Jewish by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate, a person must be born to a Jewish mother or must have converted to the Jewish faith via a recognized process.

In Judaism, the laws of conversion are based on the traditional sources of Jewish law. The basic requirements for conversion are education regarding Judaism, and acceptance of the commandments, circumcision (for males), and immersion in a ritual bath called a “mikvah.”

Israel’s Chief Rabbinate requires that conversions be performed in accordance with traditional Jewish law, meaning conversions performed by non-orthodox rabbis are not recognized by the state.

In January, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics reported that 17,700 of the 32,600 people who immigrated to Israel in 2018 were not legally Jewish.

The report also noted that over the past couple of years there has been an increase in non-Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Baltic states. According to Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, more than 30,000 people emigrated from Ukraine between 2014 and 2018.