Aliyah Up 31% Despite Pandemic

An immigrant from Ethiopia arriving at Ben Gurion Airport. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Aliyah to Israel has risen some 31% in 2021 so far, despite ongoing restrictions on travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and The Jewish Agency, 20,360 people came to live in Israel this year, compared to 15,598 during the corresponding period last year.

According to figures released on Sunday, the largest number of olim this year has been from Russia, with 5,075 immigrants arriving (which marks a 5% decrease from last year). 3,104 made aliyah from the U.S.A., up 41% from the first nine months of 2020.

Meanwhile, 2,819 olim have come from France (a 55% increase), 2,123 from Ukraine (4% increase), 780 from Belarus (69% increase), 633 from Argentina (46% increase), 490 from the United Kingdom (20% increase), 438 from Brazil (4% increase) and 373 from South Africa (56% increase).

In addition, 1,589 have come from Ethiopia — compared with 285 immigrants the previous year thanks to Operation Tzur Israel, led by the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and The Jewish Agency, which helped olim reunite with their families after decades of being apart.

More than half of the new immigrants to Israel so far this year are under age 35, with about 23.4% ages 0-17, 33.4% between 18-35, 16.3% ages 36-50, 13% 51-64 and 13.9% over 65.

As for employment, 17.3% of olim work in the service and commerce industries, 6.1% in the humanities and social sciences, 5.2% in technology and engineering, 4.2% in medicine, 3.6% in accounting and legal services and 2.7% in education.

Yerushalayim is now home to 2,184 of this year’s newcomers, with 2,122 moving to Tel Aviv, 2,031 to Netanya, 1,410 to Haifa and 744 to Ashdod. Meanwhile, Ra’anana, Beit Shemesh, Nahariya, Beer Sheva, and Bat Yam have all absorbed more than 600-700 immigrants this year.