16,244 olim in 2009 was first increase in aliyah in a decade
JERUSALEM (WJC)–Jewish immigration to Israel increased in 2009 by 17 percent compared to the previous year, the first rise in a decade. According to figures released by the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) – the government body in charge of immigration – 16,244 people made aliya in 2009, whereas 13,869 had moved to Israel in 2008.
“We have recorded this year, for the first time in ten years, an increase in the number of immigrants,” JAFI chairman Natan Sharansky said in a statement.
7,120 immigrants came from the former Soviet Union in 2009 and 5,300 from English-speaking countries. The JAFI figures also showed that 331 Jews arrived from Muslim states, including Turkey, Morocco and Yemen.
More than three million Jews have come to settle in Israel since the state’s creation in 1948 – including one million from the former Soviet republics since 1990 – under the Israeli Law of Return, which offers citizenship to Jews from anywhere in the world.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress