In Five Months, Tens of Thousands Make Aliyah

Central Bureau of Statistics data show that 18,891 Russians and 12,175 Ukrainians moved to the Jewish state between Feb. 24, when Moscow initiated the war, and July 31.

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Jewish Ukrainians arriving on a rescue flight at Ben Gurion airport March 17, 2022. Photo: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90

Russians and Ukrainians might be fighting one another in eastern Europe, but at least 30,000 Jews from both countries have come to Israel to find peace since the start of that war.

According to data released on Wednesday by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, immigration from both countries rose dramatically following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 – 18,891 from Russia and 12,175 from Ukraine.

This does not include the non-Jewish Ukrainian refugees who fled to Israel but are not eligible for citizenship.

By comparison, during the same period in 2019, the year before Covid-19, 2,651 immigrants arrived from Ukraine and 7,123 from Russia. In 2021,  the total number of new olim (immigrants to Israel) was 25,497. They came from Russia (7,640), France (3,594), the US (3,480), Ukraine (3,059) and Belarus (1,014).

Before there were planes…Jewish immigrants arrive in Eretz Yisrael in the early 20th Century.

Israel’s Jewish Agency, the aliyah agency, whose operation in Russia is currently under threat of closure by the Putin government, knew that the war would generate a wave of immigration.  This has been Israel’s history. Since the First Aliyah, which began in 1882, the vast majority of Jews who have come to Israel’s shores have been fleeing antisemitic persecution and war.

Christians who believe in God’s Biblically-foretold commitment to return the Jews to their homeland, and know that the rebirth of Israel in 1948 was a central part of this ongoing process of restoration, also anticipated this immigration wave. A number of Christian ministries, in Israel and internationally, have programs that contribute to helping Jews reach Israel and to settling them back in their land.

With reporting by JNS

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