Preliminary figures released by the Jewish Agency Tuesday said that immigration to Israel has hit a twelve year high, with French, Russian and Ukrainian immigrants accounting for more than two thirds of the 30,000-some immigrants to arrive in Israel during 2015. This figure represents a a 10 percent increase over 2014, when some 27,500 immigrants arrived in Israel, the Jewish Agency said.
For the second year running, France led the chart of aliyah-producing countries in 2015, with the arrival of some 7,900 immigrants, compared to 7,200 last year. This figure also represents an all-time record for French aliyah. The Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption are joining forces in order to further intensify efforts in France in light of rising interest in aliyah due to the economic, social, and security situation in that country, the organizations said.
Also rising significantly was aliyah from Ukraine, with some 6,000 immigrants coming to Israel in 2015, 16 percent more than last year. In Ukraine, too, things have been difficult for the Jewish community, and the Jewish Agency has made a special effort to help immigrants from there move to Israel, it said.
Meanwhile, some 6,600 immigrants came from Russia, a 40 percent increase over 2014, during which 4,900 arrived in Israel, and a 60 percent increase over 2013, which saw the arrival of some 4,161 Russian immigrants.
In addition, aliyah figures for 2015 point to an overall increase of approximately 25 percent in immigration from eastern Europe, including former Soviet Union countries, with the arrival of some 15,000 immigrants, compared to 12,300 in 2014. Western European aliyah experienced a 6 percent – 9,330 immigrants arrived, compared to the 8,880 who came in 2014. Turning to North America, approximately 3,770 immigrants arrived in Israel from the United States and Canada, compared to 3,870 in 2015.
Fifty percent of immigrants to Israel in 2015 were under the age of 30 and 8,200 immigrants were under the age of 19, a significant, 20 percent increase over 2014. Immigrants between the ages of 20 and 29 numbered 6,950, a 10 percent increase over 2014, said the Jewish Agency. The youngest immigrant arrived in Israel from the United States in September at the age of a month and a half. The oldest immigrant arrived in July at the age of 97. Tel Aviv received the most immigrants in 2015, with the arrival of 3,650 new residents from abroad. Netanya came in second with 3,500 immigrants, Yerushalayim with 3,030, and Haifa with 2,250.