Jewish immigration to Israel increased by 30% in 2021 compared to the previous year despite COVID-related restrictions, the Aliyah and Absorption Ministry said Wednesday.
According to Aliyah and Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata, roughly 27,000 Jewish immigrants made Aliyah in 2021, compared to about 21,000 in 2020.
The minister added that some 4,000 Americans made Aliyah in 2021, the largest number of immigrants from the United States since 1973, while 3,500 French citizens became Israeli citizens - a 40% increase compared to 2020.
Approximately 7,500 Jews immigrated from Russia, a 10% increase from 2020, and about 3,000 arrived from Ukraine, a 5% increase compared to last year.
According to ministry figures, 1,636 Ethiopian Jews immigrated to the Jewish state in 2021 as part of the soon-to-be-resumed "Tzur Israel" operation, which reunited new immigrants from Ethiopia with their families in Israel after years of waiting.
Despite these increases, immigration figures remain below those recorded in the years before the COVID pandemic.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in late 2019, Israel has implemented strict regulations, restricting travel to and from countries designated as regions with high infection risk.
The pandemic restrictions have at times prevented the non-citizen families of many Olim from entering the country, to the frustration of those celebrating births, weddings, and other family events.
Story republished with permission from i24NEWS