About 23,000 new immigrants made aliyah this year based on Jewish Agency preliminary figures for 2005
Record number of new immigrants from the west - from France a record for the last 34 years and from North America, a record number for 22 years.
For the first time since the intifada, the downward trend has turned and more immigrants will arrive this year than last year.
Rise in number of young people coming to Israel for short- and long-terms educational programs.
Around 23,000 new immigrants will have arrived in Israel by the end of 2005 based on Jewish Agency preliminary figures for 2005. There is a rise in aliyah from the west, especially from North America and France. From North America, 3,052 new immigrants will have made aliyah, an increase from 2,640 last year. The last year when there was a higher number was 1983, when 3,806 olim arrived. 2,980 French Jews will have made aliyah this year, as opposed to 2,415 in 2004. This is a record for 34 years, since 1972 when 2,356 new immigrants arrived. From the CIS, the 2005 total is 9,124 new immigrants; this is a 10% decrease from last year. From Russia itself there is a small rise in aliyah, and from Belarus there is a 26% increase from last year.
From South America, 1,850 olim will have arrived in 2005, an increase from last year's figure of 1,348 last year (a 37.2% increase). From England, over 450 olim will arrive this year, an increase from 435 last year. From Ethiopia, there will be a total of 3,700 olim, similar to last year.
On Wednesday December 28th the last special EL AL flight of immigrants this year will land in Ben Gurion Airport, with 220 new immigrants from the U.S. and Canada. This is the seventh special flight with immigrants for 2005 in the framework of the joint project of the Jewish Agency and "Nefesh B'Nefesh".
There is also an increase in the number of Jewish youth from around the world participating in educational programs in Israel, supported by the Jewish Agency, both short-term and long-term. This year, 29,712 young Jews took part in short-term programs (including birthright-israel, Israel Experience and others), whereas last year the number was 28,822. There was an increase of 37% in participation in long-term educational programs: 5,583 students and youths this year took part, as opposed to 4,058 last year (relating to the 2004-2005 academic year).
The Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Zeev Bielski, stated : "I hope that this year will mark a turning point for aliyah and for participation of young people in educational programs in Israel. After several difficult years we’ve been through, we believe that the improvement in the security and economic situation will increase the feeling of security, and together with the Jewish Agency's new "aliyah of choice" strategies, aliyah will be on the rise in 2006 as well. I am happy that so many people are choosing to come to Israel".
For further information contact:
Liaison to Foreign Press
The Jewish Agency for Israel