North American immigration to Israel to hit 33-year high in 2007
Undeterred by the political and social environment in Israel, North American Jews are immigrating to Israel, or making 'aliyah', in record numbers. The last surge in immigration came after the 1967 Six Day War when a Mesianic euphoria swept the Jewish community. This year is the 40th anniversary of the war so perhaps there is a resurgence of excitement toward the Jewish State.
A 33-year high in immigration from North America is expected in 2007, with some 3,500 Americans and Canadians expected to move to Israel this year, according to a report released by Nefesh B'Nefesh on Thursday.
The organization, which helps new arrivals make their new home in Israel via monetary aid and other assistance, said that there has been an 80 percent rise in immigration from the U.S. and Canada since 2001, when Nefesh B'Nefesh began operating. This year's forecast represents a 10 percent jump from the 3,200 North Americans who immigrated last year.
Immigration from South Africa and Australia is also expected to increase this year, to 180 and 140 people, respectively, compared to 157 and 108 last year. But immigration from the United Kingdom, which last year marked a 20-year high with 740 new arrivals, is down again, with only about 600 projected this year.
The greatest number of North Americans ever to come to Israel arrived between the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War - approximately 6,000 per year. However, about one-third of these immigrants returned to their countries of origin due to difficulties encountered in Israel.