JERUSALEM (JTA) – Some 29,500 new immigrants arrived in Israel since last Rosh Hashanah, a 13 per cent increase over the previous year.
Most of this year’s immigrants came from the former Soviet Union – with some 14,100, and Europe – with more than 9,000. Some 3,600 immigrants came to Israel from North America and 1,200 came from South America, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption announced Wednesday.
The two largest sources of aliyah were France, with 7,350 immigrants compared to 6,700 the previous year (a 10 per cent increase), and Ukraine, with 6,900 immigrants compared to 4,600 the previous year (a 50 per cent increase). There also was a 23 per cent increase in aliyah from Russia to 5,900 immigrants.
Immigrants to Israel came from 97 countries across the world, including one immigrant each from Andorra, Angola, Namibia, Paraguay, the Philippines and Slovakia.
Some 70 per cent of the new arrivals are under the age of 44, including some 7,800 who are 19 or younger and some 12,000 between the ages of 20 and 44.
Some 3,500 new immigrants settled in Tel Aviv; 3,400 in Netanya, and 3,000 in Jerusalem.
“These figures, which show a significant increase in the number of immigrants to Israel, reinforce the overall picture that the year 2015 will represent a year of record aliyah for more than a decade,” said Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Ze’ev Elkin. “This is a window of opportunity that the State of Israel cannot miss.”