It seems there's something about Israel after all: With the year coming to a close the Jewish Agency and the Absorption Ministry have begun summing up 2010. According to their data, 2010 witnessed a 16% rise in the number of people that made aliyah compared with last year.
The Jewish Agency has promised that the number of olim from around the world would reach 19,130 by the end of the year this weekend.
Both the Jewish Agency and the Absorption Ministry are very pleased with the data, especially in light of the fact that this is the second year in a row in which there is a rise in the number of olim, after a decade which saw a relative slump in aliyah rates.
In 2009 alone, 16,465 made aliyah compared with 2008 when only 15,452 of those eligible chose to come to Israel.
Despite an improvement in the economic state in their countries and a rise in the quality of living, 40% of the new olim that immigrated to Israel in 2010 are from former Soviet republics. Jewish Agency and Absorption Ministry data state that 7,300 olim came from the former Soviet republics in the past year.
This is a 7% rise as 6,820 made sliyah from those countries last year. The Jewish Agency mentioned that more than 1,000 new olim came from Moscow.
'Aliyah – focus of Zionist enterprise'
Many olim came from eastern European states as well as from Germany. A total of 3,980 olim arrived from the US, Canada and 1,470 from Latin America. Moreover, there has also been in a rise in the number of immigrants from Australia, New Zealand, India, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy.
And yet, this year also witnessed a decline in the number of olim from Britain and France. The data also showed that small numbers of olim also arrived from China, Monaco, Japan, Hong Kong, Honduras, Malta, Singapore, South Korea, Kenya and Rwanda.
Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky was pleased with the data and said that "the figures are encouraging, particularly in light of the war of de-legitimization being waged against Israel all over the world. Many of the olim are young, from free countries who feel that they belong in Israel and choose to build their future and their children's futures here."
Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver added that "Successful aliyah and absorption have always been and will remain one of the main focuses of the Zionist enterprise and a guarantee to the ongoing existence and growth of the Jewish state.
"I am happy that the last two years have reversed the negative trend and that the number of olim is rising. We will continue to do everything in our power to make sure that aliyah figures continue to rise and that the absorption process will be implemented in the best possible way."
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