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Aliyah

Aliyah (UK , US ; Hebrew: עֲלִיָּה aliyah, "ascent") is the immigration of Jews from the diaspora to the land of Israel (Eretz Israel in Hebrew, and also called Palestine). Also defined as "the act of going up" or as in progressing towards Jerusalem, Aliyah is one of the most basic tenets of Zionism. The opposite action, emigration from Israel, is referred to as yerida ("descent").[1] The concept of Aliyah (return) to the Holy Land was first developed in Jewish history during the Babylonian exile. During the Jewish diaspora, Aliyah was developed as a national aspiration for the Jewish people, although it was not usually fulfilled until the development of the Zionist movement in the late nineteenth century. Large-scale immigration to Palestine began in 1882.[2] Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, more than 3 million Jews from over 90 countries have 'made Aliyah' and arrived in Israel.[3]

Throughout much of Jewish history, most Jews have lived in the Diaspora. Today, the world's Jewish population is mostly concentrated in two countries: the United States and Israel.[4]

Contents

  • Historical overview 1
  • Etymology 2
  • Religious, ideological and cultural concept 3
  • Historical background 4
  • Pre-Zionist Aliyah 5
    • Biblical 5.1
    • Second Temple period 5.2
    • 200–500 AD 5.3
    • 10th–11th century 5.4
    • 1200–1882 5.5
  • Zionist Aliyah (1882 on) 6
    • First Aliyah (1882–1903) 6.1
    • Second Aliyah (1904–1914) 6.2
    • Third Aliyah (1919–1923) 6.3
    • Fourth Aliyah (1924–1929) 6.4
    • Fifth Aliyah (1929–1939) 6.5
    • Aliyah Bet: Illegal immigration (1933–1948) 6.6
    • Early statehood (1948–1960) 6.7
    • Aliyah from Arab countries 6.8
    • Aliyah from Iran 6.9
    • Aliyah from Ethiopia 6.10
    • Aliyah from the Soviet Union and post-Soviet states 6.11
    • Aliyah from Latin America 6.12
    • Aliyah from France 6.13
    • Aliyah from North America 6.14
    • Since the 1990s 6.15
    • Genetic Testing 6.16
  • Statistics 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10
  • External links 11

Historical overview

Successive waves of Jewish settlement are an important aspect of the history of Jewish life in Israel. Eretz Yisrael ("Land of Israel") is the Hebrew name for the region known in English as Israel. This traditional Hebrew toponym, in turn, has lent its name to the modern State of Israel.

Pre-Zionist Aliyah refers to small-scale return migration of Diaspora Jews to Israel. Since the birth of Zionism, its advocates have striven to facilitate the settlement of Jewish refugees in Ottoman Israel, Mandatory Palestine, and the sovereign State of Israel. The following waves have been identified:

Today, most aliyah consists of voluntary migration for ideological, economic, or family-reunification purposes.

Etymology

Aliyah in Hebrew means "ascent" or "going up". Jewish tradition views traveling to the land of Israel as an ascent, both geographically and metaphysically. Anyone traveling to Eretz Israel from Egypt, Babylonia or the Mediterranean basin, where many Jews lived in early rabbinic times, climbed to a higher altitude. Visiting Jerusalem, situated 2,700 feet above sea level, also involved an "ascent".[5]

Religious, ideological and cultural concept

Aliyah is an important Jewish cultural concept and a fundamental component of Zionism. It is enshrined in Israel's Law of Return, which accords any Jew (deemed as such by halakha and/or Israeli secular law) and eligible non-Jews (a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew), the legal right to assisted immigration and settlement in Israel, as well as Israeli citizenship. Someone who "makes aliyah" is called an oleh (m. singular) or olah (f. singular); the plural for both is olim. Many religious Jews espouse aliyah as a return to the Promised land, and regard it as the fulfillment of God's biblical promise to the descendants of the Hebrew patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Nachmanides (the Ramban) includes making aliyah in his enumeration of the 613 commandments.[6]

In the Talmud, at the end of tractate Ketubot, the Mishnah says: "A man may compel his entire household to go up with him to the land of Israel, but may not compel one to leave." The discussion on this passage in the Mishnah emphasizes the importance of living in Israel: "One should always live in the Land of Israel, even in a town most of whose inhabitants are idolaters, but let no one live outside the Land, even in a town most of whose inhabitants are Israelites; for whoever lives in the Land of Israel may be considered to have a God, but whoever lives outside the Land may be regarded as one who has no God."

Sifre says that the mitzvah (commandment) of living in Eretz Yisrael is as important as all the other mitzvot put together. There are many mitzvot such as shmita, the sabbatical year for farming, which can only be performed in Israel.[7]

In Zionist discourse, the term aliyah (plural aliyot) includes both voluntary immigration for ideological, emotional, or practical reasons and, on the other hand, mass flight of persecuted populations of Jews. The vast majority of Israeli Jews today trace their family's recent roots to outside the country. While many have actively chosen to settle in Israel rather than some other country, many had little or no choice about leaving their previous home countries. While Israel is commonly recognized as "a country of immigrants", it is also, in large measure, a country of refugees.

According to the traditional Jewish ordering of books of the Tanakh (Old Testament), the very last word of the last book in the original Hebrew (2 Chronicles 36:23) is veya‘al, a jussive verb form derived from the same root as aliyah, meaning "and let him go up" (to Jerusalem in Judah).[8]

2 Chronicles 36:23 (KJV) Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah. Who [is there] among you of all his people? The LORD his God [be] with him, and let him go up.

Historical background

Return to the land of Israel is a recurring theme in Jewish prayers recited every day, three times a day, and holiday services on Passover and Yom Kippur traditionally conclude with the words "Next year in Jerusalem". Because Jewish lineage can provide a right to Israeli citizenship, aliyah (returning to Israel) has both a secular and a religious significance.

For generations of religious Jews, aliyah was associated with the coming of the Jewish Messiah. Jews prayed for their Messiah to come, who was to redeem the land of Israel from gentile rule and return world Jewry to the land under a Halachic theocracy.[9]

Pre-Zionist Aliyah

Biblical

The Hebrew Bible relates that the patriarch Abraham came to the Land of Canaan with his family and followers in approximately 1800 BC. His grandson Jacob went down to Egypt with his family, and after several centuries there, the Israelites went back to Canaan under Moses and Joshua, entering it in about 1300 BC.

A few decades after the fall of the Kingdom of Judah and the Babylonian exile of the Jewish people, approximately 50,000 Jews returned to Zion following the Cyrus Declaration from 538 BC. The Jewish priestly scribe Ezra led the Jewish exiles living in Babylon to their home city of Jerusalem in 459 BC.

Second Temple period

Jews returned to the Land of Israel throughout the era of the Second Temple. Herod the Great also encouraged aliyah and often gave key posts, such as the position of High Priest to returnees.[10]

200–500 AD

In late antiquity, the two hubs of rabbinic learning were Babylonia and the land of Israel. Throughout the Amoraic period, many Babylonian Jews immigrated to the land of Israel and left their mark on life there, as rabbis and leaders.[11]

10th–11th century

In the 10th century, leaders of the Karaite Jewish community, mostly living under Persian rule, urged their followers to settle in Eretz Yisrael. The Karaites established their own quarter in Jerusalem, on the western slope of the Kidron Valley. During this period, there is abundant evidence of pilgrimages to Jerusalem by Jews from various countries, mainly in the month of Tishrei, around the time of the Sukkot holiday.[12]

1200–1882

The number of Jews migrating to the land of Israel rose significantly between the 13th and 19th centuries, mainly due to a general decline in the status of Jews across Europe and an increase in religious persecution. The expulsion of Jews from England (1290), France (1391), Austria (1421), and Spain (the Alhambra decree of 1492) were seen by many as a sign of approaching redemption and contributed greatly to the messianic spirit of the time.[13]

Aliyah was also spurred during this period by the resurgence of messianic fervor among the Jews of France, Italy, the Germanic states, Poland, Russia, and North Africa. The belief in the imminent coming of the Jewish Messiah, the ingathering of the exiles and the re-establishment of the kingdom of Israel encouraged many who had few other options to make the perilous journey to the land of Israel.

Pre-Zionist resettlement in Palestine met with various degrees of success. For example, little is known of the fate of the 1210 "aliyah of the three hundred rabbis" and their descendants. It is thought that few survived the bloody upheavals caused by the Crusader invasion in 1229 and their subsequent expulsion by the Muslims in 1291. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453 and the expulsion of Jews from Spain (1492) and Portugal (1498), many Jews made their way to the Holy Land. Then the immigration in the 18th and early 19th centuries of thousands of followers of various Kabbalist and Hassidic rabbis, as well as the disciples of the Vilna Gaon and the disciples of the Chattam Sofer, added considerably to the Jewish populations in Jerusalem, Tiberias, Hebron, and Safed.

The messianic dreams of the Hastening Redemption.

There were also those who like the British mystic Laurence Oliphant tried to lease Northern Palestine to settle the Jews there (1879).

Zionist Aliyah (1882 on)

In Zionist history, the different waves of aliyah, beginning with the arrival of the Biluim from Russia in 1882, are categorized by date and the country of origin of the immigrants.

The first modern period of immigration to receive a number in common speech was the Third Aliya, which in the World War I period was referred to as the successor to the First and Second Aliyot from Babylonia in the Biblical period. Reference to earlier modern periods as the First and Second Aliyot appeared first in 1919 and took a while to catch on.[16]

First Aliyah (1882–1903)

Between 1882 and 1903, approximately 35,000 Jews immigrated to the southwestern area of Syria, then a province of the Ottoman Empire. The majority, belonging to the Hovevei Zion and Bilu movements, came from the Russian Empire with a smaller number arriving from Yemen. Many established agricultural communities. Among the towns that these individuals established are Petah Tikva (already in 1878), Rishon LeZion, Rosh Pinna, and Zikhron Ya'akov. In 1882 the Yemenite Jews settled in the Arab village of Silwan located south-east of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem on the slopes of the Mount of Olives.[17]

Second Aliyah (1904–1914)

Between 1904 and 1914, 40,000 Jews immigrated mainly from First World War effectively ended the period of the Second Aliyah.

Third Aliyah (1919–1923)

Abba Hushi during his Hachshara, circa 1920

Between 1919 and 1923, 40,000 Jews, mainly from Eastern Europe arrived in the wake of World War I. The British occupation of Palestine and the establishment of the British Mandate created the conditions for the implementation of the promises contained in the Balfour Declaration of 1917. Many of the Jewish immigrants were ideologically driven pioneers, known as halutzim, trained in agriculture and capable of establishing self-sustaining economies. In spite of immigration quotas established by the British administration, the Jewish population reached 90,000 by the end of this period. The Jezreel Valley and the Hefer Plain marshes were drained and converted to agricultural use. Additional national institutions arose such as the Histadrut (General Labor Federation); an elected assembly; national council; and the Haganah, the forerunner of the Israel Defense Forces.

Fourth Aliyah (1924–1929)

Between 1924 and 1929, 82,000 Jews arrived, many as a result of anti-Semitism in Poland and Hungary. The immigration quotas of the United States kept Jews out. This group contained many middle-class families that moved to the growing towns, establishing small businesses, and light industry. Of these approximately 23,000 left the country.[19]

Fifth Aliyah (1929–1939)

A page from a passport issued by the Polish Republic in 1934 to a couple of Jews who decided to emigrate to Mandatory Palestine.

Between 1929 and 1939, with the rise of Nazism in Germany, a new wave of 250,000 immigrants arrived; the majority of these, 174,000, arrived between 1933 and 1936, after which increasing restrictions on immigration by the British made immigration clandestine and illegal, called Aliyah Bet. The Fifth Aliyah was again driven almost entirely from Europe, mostly from Eastern Europe (particularly from Poland, Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia), but also from Greece. A small number of Jewish immigrants also came from Yemen. The Fifth Aliyah contained large numbers of professionals, doctors, lawyers, and professors, from Germany. Refugee architects and musicians introduced the Bauhaus style (the White City of Tel Aviv has the highest concentration of International Style architecture in the world with a strong element of Bauhaus) and founded the Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra. With the completion of the port at Haifa and its oil refineries, significant industry was added to the predominantly agricultural economy. The Jewish population reached 450,000 by 1940.

At the same time, tensions between Arabs and Jews grew during this period, leading to a series of Arab riots against the Jews in 1929 that left many dead and resulted in the depopulation of the Jewish community in Hebron. This was followed by more violence during the "Great Uprising" of 1936–1939. In response to the ever increasing tension between the Arabic and Jewish communities married with the various commitments the British faced at the dawn of World War II, the British issued the White Paper of 1939, which severely restricted Jewish immigration to 75,000 people for five years. This served to create a relatively peaceful eight years in Palestine while the Holocaust unfolded in Europe.

Shortly after their rise to power, the Nazis negotiated the Ha'avara or "Transfer" Agreement with the Jewish Agency under which 50,000 German Jews and $100 million worth of their assets would be moved to Palestine.[20]

Aliyah Bet: Illegal immigration (1933–1948)

Buchenwald survivors arrive in Haifa to be arrested by the British, July 15, 1945

The British government limited Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine with quotas, and following the rise of Mossad Le'aliyah Bet, as well as by the Irgun. Immigration was done mainly by sea, and to a lesser extent overland through Iraq and Syria. During World War II and the years that followed until independence, Aliyah Bet became the main form of Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine.

Following the war, partisans and ghetto fighters was primarily responsible for smuggling Jews from Poland and Eastern Europe to the Italian ports from which they traveled to Mandatory Palestine. Despite British efforts to curb the illegal immigration, during the 14 years of its operation, 110,000 Jews immigrated to Palestine. In 1945 reports of the Holocaust with its 6 million Jewish dead, caused many Jews in Palestine to turn openly against the British Mandate, and illegal immigration escalated rapidly as many Holocaust survivors joined the Aliyah.

Early statehood (1948–1960)

After Aliyah Bet, the process of numbering or naming individual aliyot ceased, but immigration did not. A major wave of Jewish immigration, mainly from post-Holocaust Europe and the Arab and Muslim world took place from 1948 to 1951. In three and a half years, the Jewish population of Israel, which was 650,000 at the state's founding, was more than doubled by an influx of about 688,000 immigrants.[22] In 1949, the largest-ever number of olim in a single year - 249,954 - arrived in Israel.[3] This period of immigration is often termed kibbutz galuyot (literally, ingathering of exiles), due to the large number of Jewish diaspora communities that made aliyah. However, kibbutz galuyot can also refer to aliyah in general.

The data below shows the immigration to Israel in the years following the May 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence.[23]

1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1948-53
Eastern Europe
Romania 17678 13595 47041 40625 3712 61 122712
Poland 28788 47331 25071 2529 264 225 104208
Bulgaria 15091 20008 1000 1142 461 359 38061
Czechoslovakia 2115 15685 263 150 24 10 18247
Hungary 3463 6842 2302 1022 133 224 13986
Soviet Union 1175 3230 2618 689 198 216 8126
Yugoslavia 4126 2470 427 572 88 14 7697
Total 72436 109161 78722 46729 4880 1109 313037
Western Europe
Germany 1422 5329 1439 662 142 100 9094
France 640 1653 1165 548 227 117 4350
Austria 395 1618 746 233 76 45 3113
Great Britain 501 756 581 302 233 140 2513
Greece 175 1364 343 122 46 71 2121
Italy 530 501 242 142 95 37 1547
Holland 188 367 265 282 112 95 1309
Belgium - 615 297 196 51 44 1203
Total 3851 12203 5078 2487 982 649 25250
Asia
Iraq 15 1708 31627 88161 868 375 122754
Yemen 270 35422 9203 588 89 26 45598
Turkey 4362 26295 2323 1228 271 220 34699
Iran 43 1778 11935 11048 4856 1096 30756
Aden - 2636 190 328 35 58 3247
India 12 856 1105 364 49 650 3036
China - 644 1207 316 85 160 2412
Other - 1966 931 634 230 197 3958
Total 4702 71305 58521 102667 6483 2782 246460
Africa
Tunisia 6821 17353 3725 3414 2548 606 34467
Libya 1064 14352 8818 6534 1146 224 32138
Morocco - - 4980 7770 5031 2990 20771
Egypt - 7268 7154 2086 1251 1041 18800
Algeria - - 506 272 92 84 954
South Africa 178 217 154 35 11 33 628
Other - 382 5 6 3 9 405
Total 8063 39572 25342 20117 10082 4987 108163
Unknown 13827 10942 1742 1901 948 820 30180
All countries 102879 243183 169405 173901 23375 10347 723090

At the beginning of the immigration wave, most of the immigrants to reach Israel were Holocaust survivors from Europe, including many from displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy, and from British detention camps on Cyprus. Large sections of shattered Jewish communities throughout Europe, such as those from Poland and Romania also immigrated to Israel, with some communities, such as those from Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, being almost entirely transferred. At the same time, the number of immigrants from Arab and Muslim countries increased. Special operations were undertaken to evacuate Jewish communities perceived to be in serious danger, such as Operation Magic Carpet, which evacuated almost the entire Jewish population of Yemen, and Operation Ezra and Nehemiah, which airlifted most of the Jews of Iraq to Israel.[22] Nearly the entire Jewish population of Libya left for Israel around this time.

This resulted in a period of austerity. To ensure that Israel, which at that time had a small economy and scant foreign currency reserves, could provide for the immigrants, a strict regime of rationing was put in place. Measures were enacted to ensure that all Israeli citizens had access to adequate food, housing, and clothing. Austerity was very restrictive until 1953; the previous year, Israel had signed a reparations agreement with West Germany, in which the West German government would pay Israel as compensation for the Holocaust, due to Israel's taking in a large number of Holocaust survivors. The resulting influx of foreign capital boosted the Israeli economy and allowed for the relaxing of most restrictions. The remaining austerity measures were gradually phased out throughout the following years.

A Ma'abarah in 1952

When new immigrants arrived in Israel, they were sprayed with DDT, underwent a medical examination, were inoculated against diseases, and were given food. The earliest immigrants received desirable homes in established urban areas, but most of the immigrants were then sent to transit camps, known initially as immigrant camps, and later as Ma'abarot. Many were also initially housed in reception centers in military barracks. By the end of 1950, some 93,000 immigrants were housed in 62 transit camps. The Israeli government's goal was to get the immigrants out of refugee housing and into society as speedily as possible. Immigrants who left the camps received a ration card, an identity card, a mattress, a pair of blankets, and $21 to $36 in cash. They settled either in established cities and towns, or in kibbutzim and moshavim.[22][24] Many others stayed in the Ma'abarot as they were gradually turned into permanent cities and towns, which became known as development towns, or were absorbed as neighborhoods of the towns they were attached to, and the tin dwellings were replaced with permanent housing.

In the early 1950s, the immigration wave subsided, and emigration increased; ultimately, some 10% of the immigrants would leave Israel for other countries in the following years. In 1953, immigration to Israel averaged 1,200 a month, while emigration averaged 700 a month. The end of the period of mass immigration gave Israel a critical opportunity to more rapidly absorb the immigrants still living in transit camps.[25] The Israeli government built 260 new settlements and 78,000 housing units to accommodate the immigrants, and by the mid-1950s, almost all were in permanent housing.[26] The last ma'abarot closed in 1963.

In the mid-1950s, a smaller wave of immigration began from North African countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt, many of which where in the midst of nationalist struggles. Between 1952 and 1964, some 240,000 North African Jews came to Israel. During this period, smaller but significant numbers arrived from other places such as Europe, Iran, India, and Latin America.[26] In particular, a small immigration wave from Poland, known as the "Gomulka Aliyah", took place during this period. From 1956 to 1960, Poland permitted free Jewish emigration, and some 50,000 Polish Jews immigrated to Israel.[27]

Since the founding of the State of Israel, the

External links

Further reading

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  10. ^ Hahistoriya shel Eretz Israel - Shilton Romi, Yisrael Levine, p. 47, ed. Menahem Stern, 1984, Yad Izhak Ben Zvi - Keter
  11. ^ The Jerusalem Cathedra: Studies in the History, Archaeology, Geography and Ethnography of the Land of Israel, "Aliya from Babylonia During the Amoraic Period (200–500 AD)", Joshua Schwartz, pp.58–69, ed. Lee Levine, 1983, Yad Izhak Ben Zvi & Wayne State University Press
  12. ^ The Jerusalem Cathedra: Studies in the History, Archaeology, Geography and Ethnography of the Land of Israel, "Aliya and Pilgrimage in the Early Arab Period (634–1009)", Moshe Gil, 1983, Yad Izhak Ben Zvi & Wayne State University Press
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  15. ^ Morgenstern, Arie: Hastening Redemption: Messianism and the Resettlement of the Land of Israel Published in Hebrew, 1997, Jerusalem, Ma’or; Published in English, 2006, Oxford University Press
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  21. ^ Yoav Gelber, "The Historical Role of Central European Immigration to Israel", Leo Baeck Institute Year Book 38 (1993), p. 326 n. 6.
  22. ^ a b c The Mass Migration of the 1950s
  23. ^
  24. ^ Israel Hard Pressed to Handle Immigration Flood - The Portsmouth Times. 27 April 1949
  25. ^ Reports 700 Leave Israel Each Month
  26. ^ a b Aliyah - Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  27. ^ Tribute to an aliyah like no other
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  31. ^ Malka Hillel Shulewitz, The Forgotten Millions: The Modern Jewish Exodus from Arab Lands, Continuum 2001, pp. 139 and 155.
  32. ^ Ada Aharoni "The Forced Migration of Jews from Arab Countries, Historical Society of Jews from Egypt website. Accessed February 1, 2009.
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  35. ^ Littman (1979), p. 5.
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  50. ^ a b http://www.cbs.gov.il/publications12/1483_immigration/pdf/tab05.pdf
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  64. ^ 24,800 new immigrants arrive in Israel in 5774 - Retrieved 22 September 2014
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  67. ^ a b
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  74. ^ Six-day War Anniversary: North American Olim Who Came After 1967 War Maintain Idealism
  75. ^
  76. ^ Waxman, Chaim. American Aliyah, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989. pg. 131-135
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  84. ^ From Kaifeng to kibbutzim. Jerusalem Post
  85. ^ Descendants of Chinese Jews arrive in Israel, Jewish telegraphic Agency news service, 10//26/09.
  86. ^ Kaifeng Jews study in Israeli yeshiva, On road to full Orthodox conversion, seven dedicated Chinese Jews plan to exchange their visitor permits for aliyah visas to make their trip to Israel a permanent one, by Rebecca Bitton, 08/24/10.
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  89. ^ [1]
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References

See also

Region/Country 1882–
1918
1919–
1948
1948–
1951
1952–
1960
1961–
1971
1972–
1979
1980–
1989
1990–
2001
2002–
2010
2011–
2012
Total
Africa 4,033 93,282 143,485 164,885 19,273 28,664 55,619 31,558 6,627 547,426
Algeria 994 3,810 3,433 12,857 2,137 1,830 1,682 1,967 324 29,034
Egypt and Sudan 0 16,028 17,521 2,963 535 372 202 166 21 37,808
Ethiopia, Eritrea and Abyssinia 0 10 59 98 309 16,971 45,131 23,613 5,097 91,288
Libya 873 30,972 2,079 2,466 219 67 94 36 5 36,811
Morocco 0 28,263 95,945 130,507 7,780 3,809 3,276 2,113 384 272,077
South Africa 259 666 774 3,783 5,604 3,575 3,283 1,693 373 20,010
Tunisia 0 13,293 23,569 11,566 2,148 1,942 1,607 1,871 398 56,394
Zimbabwe 0 37 22 145 393 82 26 14 N/A 719
Other (Africa) 1,907 203 83 500 148 16 318 85 24 3,284
Americas and Oceania 7,579 3,822 6,922 42,400 45,040 39,369 39,662 36,209 221,003
Argentina 238 904 2,888 11,701 13,158 10,582 11,248 9,450 60,169
Australia 0 116 107 742 1,146 835 977 524 4,447
Bolivia 0 0 0 199 94 80 53 84 510
Brazil 0 304 763 2,601 1,763 1,763 2,356 2,037 11,587
Canada 316 236 276 2,169 2,178 1,867 1,963 1,700 10,705
Central America (other countries which are not specifically mentioned here) 0 17 43 129 104 8 153 157 611
Chile 0 48 401 1,790 1,180 1,040 683 589 5,731
Colombia 0 0 0 415 552 475 657 965 3,064
Cuba 0 14 88 405 79 42 629 606 1,863
Ecuador 0 0 0 40 38 44 67 69 258
Mexico 0 48 168 736 861 993 1,049 697 4,552
New Zealand 70 0 13 91 129 124 142 42 611
Panama 0 0 0 64 43 48 50 40 245
Peru 0 0 0 269 243 358 612 1,539 3,021
South America (other countries which are not specifically mentioned here) 0 42 194 89 62 0 66 96 549
United States 2,000[90] 6,635 1,711 1,553 18,671 20,963 18,904 17,512 15,445 103,394
Uruguay 0 66 425 1,844 2,199 2,014 983 1,555 9,086
Venezuela 0 0 0 297 245 180 418 602 1,742
Other (Americas/Oceania) 318 313 0 148 3 8 44 12 846
Asia 40,776 237,704 37,119 56,208 19,456 14,433 75,687 17,300 498,683
Afghanistan 0 2,303 1,106 516 132 57 21 13 4,148
Burma 0 0 0 147 83 383 138 33 784
China 0 504 217 96 43 78 277 74 1,289
Cyprus 0 21 35 28 21 12 32 0 149
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka 0 2,176 5,380 13,110 3,497 1,539 2,055 961 28,718
Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines 0 101 46 54 40 60 205 42 548
Iran 3,536 21,910 15,699 19,502 9,550 8,487 4,326 1,097 84,107
Iraq 0 123,371 2,989 2,129 939 111 1,325 130 130,994
Israel 0 411 868 1,021 507 288 1,148 1,448 5,691
Japan 0 0 9 25 34 57 98 32 255
Jordan 0 6 9 23 6 9 15 0 68
Lebanon 0 235 846 2,208 564 179 96 34 4,162
Mongolia, South Korea, and North Korea 0 0 0 4 5 10 100 36 155
Saudi Arabia 0 177 0 4 0 5 0 0 186
Soviet Union (Asia)[a] 61,988 12,422 74,410
Syria 0 2,678 1,870 0 0 0 1,664 23 6,235
Turkey 8,277 34,547 6,871 14,073 3,118 2,088 1,311 817 71,102
Yemen 2,600[91] 15,838 48,315 1,170 1,066 51 17 683 103 69,843
Other (Asia) 13,125 947 0 60 21 45 205 30 14,433
Europe 377,487 332,802 106,305 162,070 183,419 70,898 888,603 96,165 2,217,749
Albania 0 0 5 8 0 0 376 0 389
Austria 7,748 2,632 610 1,021 595 356 368 150 13,480
Belgium 0 291 394 1,112 847 788 1,053 873 5,358
Bulgaria 7,057 37,260 1,680 794 118 180 3,999 341 51,429
Czechoslovakia 16,794 18,788 783 2,754 888 462 527 217 41,213
Denmark 0 27 46 298 292 411 389 85 1,548
Finland 0 9 20 172 184 222 212 33 852
France 1,637 3,050 1,662 8,050 5,399 7,538 11,986 13,062 52,384
Germany 52,951 8,210 1,386 3,175 2,080 1,759 2,442 866 72,869
Greece 8,767 2,131 676 514 326 147 127 48 12,736
Hungary 10,342 14,324 9,819 2,601 1,100 1,005 2,444 730 42,365
Ireland 0 14 46 145 157 233 136 54 785
Italy 1,554 1,305 414 940 713 510 656 389 6,481
Luxembourg 0 30 15 15 7 12 0 4 83
Netherlands 1,208 1,077 646 1,470 1,170 1,239 997 365 8,172
Norway 0 17 14 36 55 126 120 19 387
Poland 170,127 106,414 39,618 14,706 6,218 2,807 3,064 764 343,718
Portugal 0 16 22 66 56 55 47 28 290
Romania 41,105 117,950 32,462 86,184 18,418 14,607 6,254 711 317,691
Soviet Union (Europe) 47,500[92][b] 52,350 8,163 13,743 29,376 137,134 29,754 844,139 72,520 1,234,679
Spain 0 80 169 406 327 321 269 178 1,750
Sweden 0 32 51 378 372 419 424 160 1,836
Switzerland 0 131 253 886 634 706 981 585 4,176
United Kingdom 1,574 1,907 1,448 6,461 6,171 7,098 5,365 3,725 33,749
Yugoslavia 1,944 7,661 320 322 126 140 2,029 162 12,704
Other (Europe) 2,329 1,281 3 173 32 0 198 93 4,109
Not known 52,982 20,014 3,307 2,265 392 469 422 0 79,851
Total 62,500[93][c] 482,857 687,624 297,138 427,828 267,580 153,833 1,059,993 181,233 3,620,586
[89][50]The number of immigrants since 1882 by period, continent of birth, and country of birth is given in the table below. Continent of birth and country of birth data is almost always unavailable or nonexistent for before 1919.

Statistics

[88] In 2013, the office of the

Genetic Testing

In early 2007 Haaretz reported that aliyah for the year of 2006 was down approximately 9% from 2005, "the lowest number of immigrants recorded since 1988".[81] The number of new immigrants in 2007 was 18,127, the lowest since 1988. Only 36% of these new immigrants came from the former Soviet Union (close to 90% in the 1990s) while the number of immigrants from countries like France and the United States is stable.[82] Some 15,452 immigrants arrived in Israel in 2008 and 16,465 in 2009.[83] On October 20, 2009, the first group of Kaifeng Jews arrived in Israel, in an aliyah operation coordinated by Shavei Israel.[84][85][86] Shalom Life reported that over 19,000 new immigrants arrived in Israel in 2010, an increase of 16 percent over 2009.[87]

Since the mid-1990s, there has been a steady stream of Nefesh B'Nefesh and Shavei Israel help with aliyah by supporting financial aid and guidance on a variety of topics such as finding work, learning Hebrew, and assimilation into Israeli culture.

New immigrants at the Israeli airport, 2007

Since the 1990s

Following the Global Financial Crisis in the late 2000s, American Jewish immigration to Israel rose. This wave of immigration was triggered by Israel's lower unemployment rate, combined with financial incentives offered to new Jewish immigrants. In 2009, aliyah was at its highest in 36 years, with 3,324 North American Jews making aliyah.[78]

Nefesh B'Nefesh, founded in 2002 by Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and Tony Gelbart, works to encourage Aliyah from North America and the UK by providing financial assistance, employment services and streamlined governmental procedures. Nefesh B’Nefesh works in cooperation with the Jewish Agency and the Israeli Government in increasing the numbers of North American and British olim.

Like Western European olim, North Americans tend to immigrate to Israel more for religious, ideological, and political purposes, and not financial or security ones.[76] Many immigrants began arriving in Israel after the First and Second Intifada, with a total of 3,052 arriving in 2005 — the highest number since 1983.[77]

Record numbers arrived in the late 1960s after the Six-Day War, and in the 1970s. Between 1967 and 1973, 60,000 North American Jews immigrated to Israel. However, many of them later returned to their original countries.[74][75]

Several thousand American Jews moved to Mandate Palestine before the State of Israel was established. From Israel's establishment in 1948 to the Six-Day War in 1967, aliyah from the United States and Canada was minimal. In the 1950s, 6,000 North American Jews arrived in Israel, of whom all but 1,000 returned.

More than 200,000 North American immigrants live in Israel. There has been a steady flow of olim from North America since Israel’s inception in 1948.[72][73]

Nefesh B'Nefesh group welcomes North American olim to Israel

Aliyah from North America

Hours after an attack and an ISIS flag was raised on a gas factory near Lyon where the severed head of a local businessman was pinned to the gates on June 26, 2015, Immigration and Absorption Minister Ze’ev Elkin strongly urged the French Jewish community to move to Israel and made it a national priority for Israel to welcome the French Jewish community with open arms.[68][69] Immigration from France is on the rise: in the first half of 2015, approximately 5,100 French Jews made aliyah to Israel marking 25% more than in the same period during the previous year when about 7,000 made aliyah during all of 2014, indicating that about 10,000 should be expected for the full year of 2015.[70][71]

In January 2015, events such as the Charlie Hebdo shooting and Porte de Vincennes hostage crisis created a shock wave of fear across the French Jewish community. As a result of these events, the Jewish Agency planned an aliyah plan for 120,000 French Jews who wish to make aliyah.[65][66] In addition, with Europe's stagnant economy as of early 2015, many affluent French Jewish skilled professionals, businesspeople and investors have sought Israel as a start-up haven for international investments, as well as job and new business opportunities.[67] In addition, Dov Maimon, a French Jewish émigré who studies migration as a senior fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute, expects as many as 250,000 French Jews to make aliyah by the year 2030.[67]

During the first few months of 2014, The Jewish Agency of Israel has continued to encourage an increase of French aliyah through aliyah fairs, Hebrew-language courses, sessions which assist in potential olim to find jobs in Israel, and immigrant absorption in Israel.[59] A May 2014 survey revealed that 74 percent of French Jews consider leaving France for Israel where of the 74 percent, 29.9 percent cited anti-Semitism. Another 24.4 cited their desire to “preserve their Judaism,” while 12.4 percent said they were attracted by other countries. “Economic considerations” was cited by 7.5 percent of the respondents.[60] By June 2014, it was estimated by the end of 2014 a full 1 percent of the French Jewish community will have made aliyah to Israel, the largest in a single year. Many Jewish leaders stated the emigration is being driven by a combination of factors, including the cultural gravitation towards Israel and France’s economic woes, especially for the younger generation drawn by the possibility of other socioeconomic opportunities in the more vibrant Israeli economy.[61][62] During the Hebrew year 5774 (September 2013 - September 2014) for the first time ever, more Jews made Aliyah from France than any other country, with approximately 6,000 French Jews making aliyah, mainly fleeing rampant antisemitism, pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist violence and economic malaise with France becoming the top sending country for aliyah as of late September 2014.[63][64]

By 2012, some 200,000 French citizens live in Israel.[51] During the same year, following the election of François Hollande and the Jewish school shooting in Toulouse, as well as ongoing acts of anti-semitism and the European economic crisis, an increasing number of French Jews began buying property in Israel.[52] In August 2012, it was reported that anti-semitic attacks had risen by 40% in the five months following the Toulouse shooting, and that many French Jews were seriously considering immigrating to Israel.[53] In 2013, 3,120 French Jews immigrated to Israel, marking a 63% increase over the previous year.[54] In the first two months of 2014, French Jewish aliyah increased precipitously by 312% with 854 French Jews making aliyah over the first two months. Immigration from France throughout 2014 has been attributed to several factors, of which includes increasing antisemitism, in which many Jews have been harassed and attacked by a fusillade of local thugs and gangs, a stagnant European economy and concomitant high youth unemployment rates.[55][56][57][58]

From 2000 to 2009, more than 13,000 French Jews made aliyah, largely as a result of growing anti-semitism in the country. A peak was reached in 2005, with 2,951 olim. However, between 20-30% eventually returned to France.[49] After the election of Nicolas Sarkozy, French aliyah dropped due to the Jewish community's comfort with him. In 2010 only 1,286 French Jews made aliyah.[50]

Aliyah from France

In Venezuela, growing antisemitism in the country, including antisemitic violence, caused an increasing number of Jews to make aliyah during the 2000s. For the first time in Venezuelan history, Jews began leaving for Israel in the hundreds. By November 2010, more than half of Venezuela's 20,000-strong Jewish community had left the country.[47][48]

There has also been aliyah from other Latin American countries that have experienced crises, though they have come in smaller numbers and are not eligible for the same economic benefits as Argentine olim.

More than 10,000 Argentine Jews immigrated to Israel since 2000, joining the thousands of previous olim already there. The crisis in Argentina also affected its neighbour country Uruguay, from which about half of its 40,000-strong Jewish community left, mainly to Israel, in the same period. During 2002 and 2003 the Jewish Agency for Israel launched an intensive public campaign to promote aliyah from the region, and offered additional economic aid for immigrants from Argentina. Although the economy of Argentina improved, and some Argentine olim returned to Argentina following the country's economic growth from 2003 onwards, Argentine Jews continue to immigrate to Israel, albeit in smaller numbers than before. The Argentine community in Israel is about 50,000-70,000 people, the largest Latin American group in the country.

In the 1999–2002 Argentine political and economic crisis that caused a run on the banks, wiped out billions of dollars in deposits and decimated Argentina's middle class, most of the country's estimated 200,000 Jews were directly affected. Some 4,400 chose to start over and move to Israel, where they saw opportunity.

Aliyah from Latin America

Russophone shop in Haifa

Due to the growing 2014 Ukrainian unrest, Ukrainian Jews making aliyah from the Ukraine reached 142% higher during the first four months of 2014 compared to the previous year.[42][43][44] In 2014, aliyah from the former Soviet Union went up 50% from the previous year with some 11,430 people or approximately 43% of all olim made aliyah from the former Soviet Union, propelled from the increase from Ukraine with some 5,840 new immigrants have come from Ukraine over the course of the year.[45][46]

The number of non-Jews among the immigrants from the former USSR has been constantly rising ever since 1989. For example, in 1990 around 96% of the immigrants were Jews and only 4% were non-Jewish family members. However, in 2000, the proportion was: Jews (includes children from non-Jewish father and Jewish mother) - 47%, Non-Jewish spouses of Jews - 14%, children from Jewish father and non-Jewish mother - 17%, Non-Jewish spouses of children from Jewish father and non-Jewish mother - 6%, non-Jews with a Jewish grandparent - 14% & Non-Jewish spouses of non-Jews with a Jewish grandparent - 2%.[41]

In 1989 the United States changed its immigration policy of unconditionally granting Soviet Jews refugee status. That same year, Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev ended restrictions on Jewish immigration, and the Soviet Union itself collapsed in 1991. Since then, about a million Russians immigrated to Israel,[40] including approximately 240,000 who were not Jewish according to rabbinical law, but were eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return.

Israel was concerned over the dropout rate, and suggested that Soviet emigres be flown directly to Israel from the Soviet Union or Romania. Israel argued that it needed highly skilled and well-educated Soviet Jewish immigrants for its survival. In addition to contributing to the country's economic development, Soviet immigration was also seen as a counterweight to the high fertility rate among Israeli-Arabs.[38] In addition, Israel was concerned that the dropout rate could result in immigration being banned once again. The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption's position was that "it could jeopardize the whole program if Jews supposedly going to Israel all wind up in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. How will the Soviets explain to their own people that it's just Jews who are allowed to emigrate to the U.S.?"[39]

According to Israeli Immigrant Absorption Minister Yaakov Zur, over half of Soviet Jewish dropouts who immigrated to the United States assimilated and ceased to live as Jews within a short period of time.[39]

Between 1968 and 1973, almost all Soviet Jews allowed to leave settled in Israel, and only a small minority moved to other Western countries. However, in the following years, the number of those moving to other Western nations increased.[38] Soviet Jews granted permission to leave were taken by train to Austria to be processed and then flown to Israel. There, the ones who chose not to go to Israel, called "dropouts", exchanged their immigrant invitations to Israel for refugee status in a Western country, especially the United States. Eventually, most Soviet Jews granted permission to leave became dropouts. In 1989 a record 71,000 Soviet Jews were granted exodus from the USSR, of whom only 12,117 immigrated to Israel.

Year Exit visas
to Israel
Olim from
the USSR[37]
1968 231 231
1969 3,033 3,033
1970 999 999
1971 12,897 12,893
1972 31,903 31,652
1973 34,733 33,277
1974 20,767 16,888
1975 13,363 8,435
1976 14,254 7,250
1977 16,833 8,350
1978 28,956 12,090
1979 51,331 17,278
1980 21,648 7,570
1981 9,448 1,762
1982 2,692 731
1983 1,314 861
1984 896 340
1985 1,140 348
1986 904 201

After the Dymshits-Kuznetsov hijacking affair and the crackdown that followed, strong international condemnations caused the Soviet authorities to increase the emigration quota. In the years 1960–1970, the USSR let only 4,000 people leave; in the following decade, the number rose to 250,000.[37] The exodus of Soviet Jews began in 1968.[38]

From Israel's establishment in 1948 to the Six-Day War in 1967, Soviet aliyah remained minimal. Those who made aliyah during this period were mainly elderly people granted clearance to leave for family reunification purposes. Only about 22,000 Soviet Jews managed to reach Israel. In the wake of the Six-Day War, the USSR broke off the diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. An Anti-Zionist propaganda campaign in the state-controlled mass media and the rise of Zionology were accompanied by harsher discrimination of the Soviet Jews. By the end of the 1960s, Jewish cultural and religious life in the Soviet Union had become practically impossible, and the majority of Soviet Jews were assimilated and non-religious, but this new wave of state-sponsored anti-Semitism on one hand, and the sense of pride for victorious Jewish nation over Soviet-armed Arab armies on the other, stirred up Zionist feelings.

A mass emigration was politically undesirable for the Soviet regime. The only acceptable ground was family reunification, and a formal petition ("вызов", vyzov) from a relative from abroad was required for the processing to begin. Often, the result was a formal refusal. The risks to apply for an exit visa compounded because the entire family had to quit their jobs, which in turn would make them vulnerable to charges of social parasitism, a criminal offense. Because of these hardships, Israel set up the group Lishkat Hakesher in the early 1950s to maintain contact and promote aliyah with Jews behind the Iron Curtain.

Soviet authorities break up a demonstration of Jewish refuseniks in front of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the right to immigrate to Israel, January 10, 1973[36]

Aliyah from the Soviet Union and post-Soviet states

The first major wave of aliyah from Ethiopia took place in the mid-1970s. The massive airlift known as Operation Moses began to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel on November 18, 1984, and ended on January 5, 1985. During those six weeks, some 6,500–8,000 Ethiopian Jews were flown from Sudan to Israel. An estimated 2,000–4,000 Jews died en route to Sudan or in Sudanese refugee camps. In 1991 Operation Solomon was launched to bring the Beta Israel Jews of Ethiopia. In one day, May 24, 34 aircraft landed at Addis Ababa and brought 14,325 Jews from Ethiopia to Israel. Since that time, Ethiopian Jews have continued to immigrate to Israel bringing the number of Ethiopian-Israelis today to over 100,000.

Aliyah from Ethiopia

Following the establishment of Israel, about one-third of Iranian Jews, most of them poor, immigrated to Israel. Following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, most of the Iranian Jewish community left, with some 30,000 Iranian Jews immigrating to Israel. Many Iranian Jews also settled in the United States (especially in New York City and Los Angeles).[35]

Aliyah from Iran

Exodus 19:4 - Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.[33] and
Isaiah 40:31 - But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.[34] Some 120,000 Iraqi Jews were airlifted to Israel in Operation Ezra and Nehemiah.

From 1948 until the early 1970s, around 900,000 Jews from Arab lands left, fled, or were expelled from various Arab nations.[29][30][31][32] In the course of Operation Magic Carpet (1949–1950), nearly the entire community of Yemenite Jews (about 49,000) immigrated to Israel. Its other name, Operation On Wings of Eagles (Hebrew: כנפי נשרים, Kanfei Nesharim), was inspired by

Yemenite Jews on their way to Israel

Aliyah from Arab countries

[28]

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