The figures released by the Jewish Agency, which is the primary organization that encourages “Aliyah” (Jewish immigration to Israel), show that over 29,600 people immigrated to Israel this year, compared to 28,220 olim (Jewish immigrants) who came to the country in 2017.
Immigration from Russia spiked by some 45% from 2017, with over 10,500 Jewish immigrants relocating to Israel, with another 6,500 olim arriving from Ukraine, although in this case the agency registered a 9% drop from last year.
The number of immigrants making their way from the United States and Canada remained steady, with 3,550 people arriving in Israel in 2018. The number shows no significant change compared to the previous year.
Meanwhile, there has been a 25% drop from last year in the number of Jewish immigrants coming from France, with only 2,660 making Aliyah in 2018. The number of people arriving from the United Kingdom and Brazil also registered a 4% decline, with 660 and 330 olim making their way to Israel in 2018 respectively.
There has been an increase in the number of people coming from Argentina (17%) and South Africa (2%) although in both cases the figures still remained relatively low, with only 330 and 320 new olim relocating to the Jewish state.
Jewish Agency Chairman of the Executive Isaac Herzog said he welcomes the overall increase in Jewish immigration to Israel.
“Every Jew who comes to Israel and establishes a home here completes another piece of the wonderful mosaic of the Jewish people in their historic homeland. After 70 years of the state’s independence and the tremendous number of olim who have already made it to Israel, the potential for even greater Aliyah remains significant, and The Jewish Agency will continue to work to achieve that goal,” Herzog said.