JERUSALEM, Israel – Jewish immigration to Israel took a major hit in 2020 due to the coronavirus.
02-02-2021 CBN News Jerusalem Emily Jones
According to data released Monday by the Immigration Ministry and Jewish Agency, Israel saw a near 40% drop in Jews making Aliyah – the Hebrew word for immigration to the Jewish State. Some 21,200 Jews immigrated to Israel in 2020, a 36.7 percent decrease from 35,500 the previous year.
The largest decrease was among Jews immigrating from Russia. However, French immigration to Israel remained virtually unchanged.Related
“The pandemic did not lower the motivation to make aliyah, on the contrary,” the director of the Jewish Agency in France, Arie Abitbol, told AFP.
“Despite the fact that for three months immigration has not been possible due to the lockdowns, the number of olim [immigrants] remained the same in 2020,” he said.
Atibol said French Jews are eager to immigrate to Israel due to Europe’s economic difficulties and Israel’s successful vaccination campaign.
“Many people in the community say the health system in Israel is more reliable than in France and fear that the doors of Israel will be closed to them,” he said.
Israel is currently in its third lockdown due to a serious outbreak that has also paralyzed Israel’s skies. Israeli leaders have shuttered the country’s airport to all travelers, including new immigrants, in an effort to control the outbreak.
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