For the third year in a row, Tel Aviv-Yafo was the city of choice for new immigrants to Israel.
According to the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, some 2,305 new Israelis, known as olim, settled in Tel Aviv-Yafo in 2020, which accounts for more than 10% of the 21,109 new immigrants to Israel.
Amir Dor, director of the department of immigration and absorption at the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, told The Media Line that Tel Aviv is a “living” city that draws new residents attracted to its culture, nightlife and “tolerance for everyone to live how they want to live,” as well as its status as an economic hub.
Those are some of reasons why Julia, a Montreal native in her 20s who arrived in Israel in 2019, made Tel Aviv her home.
“Coming from Canada it was too difficult to resist the opportunity to live right by the Mediterranean Sea. Also, having spent some time in Tel Aviv in the past, I always loved the people and the social scene,” she told The Media Line. “It’s very much a ‘you do you’ type of city where individuality is embraced and welcomed.”
A little under half of the olim, or 1,140, who settled in the city hailed from Russia. The second most common countries of origin were the North America bloc of Canada and the United States at 359. France followed with 339.
Over the last ten years, 30,038 new citizens have made Tel Aviv-Yafo their new home.
Simcha Brodsky, a music producer who immigrated to Israel from Monsey, New York on Oct. 27, 2020, was the 16,000 new immigrant to Israel in 2020. He says he chose to live in Tel Aviv because of its geographic convenience.
“It’s a great central location. It’s easier to move around, set things up, meet people. It seemed like a good fit,” he told The Media Line.
Dor says that new immigrants are given many personal services, such as assistance registering children for school, in addition to access to things like tours and cultural events – before the coronavirus hit, and lectures on employment and high tech, which have now moved online as a result of the pandemic.
“We give a lot of support for olim in six languages in everything they need to make a better aliyah to Israel,” he said. Among those languages are Russian, English, French and Spanish, as well as Hebrew.
While Tel Aviv is the most popular city for new arrivals, the number of immigrants was much smaller than the approximately 4,450 olim who settled in the city in 2019.
Dor says that this is result of overall lower 2020 immigration numbers, and that the 21,000+ olim who arrived last year is down from a record-breaking 2019 high which, according to the Jewish Agency, was 34,000.
Elsewhere in Israel, Jerusalem was the second most popular destination for new immigrants, followed by the coastal city of Netanya.
Article written by Tara Kaveler. Reprinted with permission from The Media Line.