Despite Corona, Aliyah Continues
21 thousand new immigrants entered Israel in 2020
The Ministry of Immigration and Absorption has announced the data for the year 2020. In spite of having to deal with a worldwide corona pandemic, Israel welcomed 21,115 new immigrants from 89 countries, mostly former Soviet Union countries, the United States, France and Ethiopia. More than 1,000 medical workers immigrated to Israel this year and will be integrated into the Israeli health care system.
Minister of Immigration and Absorption, MK Pnina Tamano–Shata stated:
“Notwithstanding and in spite of the Corona virus pandemic that brought about a policy of a general lockdown for long periods in many countries, the Olim (new immigrants) did not shy away and continued to immigrate. When you see the encouraging data on immigration and integration, it is impossible to not be filled with the optimistic and positive side of the past year as well. I am happy and proud that I have the right to serve the public of new Olim in this convoluted period, to assist them in removing barriers to immigration and in providing the tools for smooth integration in Israel.”
Most of the new Olim who came to Israel this year chose to settle in the cities of Netanya (3,142), Tel Aviv (3,060), Jerusalem (2,972), with the northern city of Haifa taking in 2,523. The rest spread out all over the country. Over 43% of the Olim this year were aged 18-35 and about a quarter of them were children and teenagers up to the age of 18. Forty-eight percent of the newcomers are single and 42% of them are married. The number of Olim who enlisted in the IDF is 2,534, and the number of Sabra babies born to parents who immigrated to Israel this year is 349.
On the occupational side, the most common profession is in the fields of marketing and trade, encompassing 18.2% of all Olim. Just over 7% of Olim are engaged in technology and engineering and 5% are trained in the medical and paramedical professions.
The leading countries for Aliyah this year are:
- Russia (6,644)
- Ukraine (2,969)
- USA (2,728)
- France (2,415)
- Ethiopia (931 – by the end of January, 2,000 in total are expected to arrive).
By geographical regions:
- 10,500 came from Eastern Europe
- About 3,500 from Western Europe
- Over 3,000 came from North America
- Latin America contributed about 1,500 Olim, an increase of 20% compared to last year.
Among the surprising countries from which Olim arrived are countries such as the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Zambia, Nigeria and Ghana. This year, in the wake of the government resolution piloted by Tamano-Shata, 800 immigrated from Ethiopia as part of ”Operation Tzur Yisrael,” Olim who had waited decades to come to Israel and reunite with their families. In addition, Tamano-Shata lead an effort to bring home 253 from the Bnei Menashe community from northeastern India, after many years of waiting.
On the last day of 2020, 76 immigrants from Brazil, Argentina and Italy, 55 immigrants from Russia, 4 from Ukraine and one immigrant from the Netherlands were expected to arrive in Israel. On the first day of 2021 – we welcomed 303 immigrants from Ethiopia, as part of “Operation Tzur Yisrael” to gather in Ethiopian Jews. According to forecasts by the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption, between 33,000 and 45,000 new Olim are expected to arrive in Israel in the coming year (depending on the Corona virus pandemic situation all over the world).