Photo Credit: Moshik Brin / The Jewish Agency / Flash90
The Orthodox have consistently been the largest group.

Only 2,680 Jews moved to Israel from the United States this past year, an 11 percent decrease from the 3.070 who “made aliyah” in 2012, according to information provided by the Jewish Agency and Ministry for Absorption and immigration.

The number of new olim from Canada was virtually unchanged, with 321 moving to Israeli in 2013, two more than in 2012.


The decline of American olim continues the reversal of an upwards trend in Aliyah that peaked in 2008 and raises questions about the future of American Zionism, if it is defined as packing up and leaving “home” to go home. In 2008, 3,300 Jews moved from the United States and Canada to Israel. The number declined slightly to 3,260 in 2009 and then dropped sharply the following two years to 2,801 and 2,575.

No figures were supplied concerning the breakdown of affiliation, but Jews who identify with Orthodoxy have consistently been the largest group, usually between half and two-thirds of new olim.

Aliyah from other countries this past year generally increased, with the most dramatic rise in France, with the arrival of 3,120 immigrants this year, compared to 1,916 in 2012.

The biggest decrease was registered in Ethiopia, which was expected because of the conclusion of Operation Dove’s Wings

“Every immigrant who arrives in order to make his or her home in Israel fills me with joy and I hope Aliyah continues to increase, “said Immigration Minister Sofa Minister Landver.

Chairman Sharansky: “That 19,200 Jews have chosen to establish their lives in Israel is a concrete expression of Israel’s

According to an analysis of the data, Israel experience programs for French Jewish youth and Aliyah encouragement efforts

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky stated, “Israel is the beating heart of the Jewish people. That 19,200 Jews have chosen to establish their lives in Israel is a concrete expression of Israel’s centrality to Jewish life and to Jews around the world. This is an era of Aliyah by choice, rather than Aliyah of rescue.”

Given the assimilation rate of approximately 70 percent in the United States, that statement could easily be argued.



  1. i hope to see more and more people make aliyah in 2014 we need to hope for it and maybe even set up an aliyah expo at cities where they have not yet been to to attract jews to come and check it out and see whats new in Israel and more or at jcc (jewish community centers) we have one in charlotte NC that we never had a aliyah expo here we have so many jews live here this might be a good start with charlotte NC to bring aliyah expo over here to help that and see if that make the jump with this I hope that jewish agency and NBN sees this post and consider that a good start for 2014


  3. It's a tough sell to get one to move from a country which guarantees freedom of (and freedom from) religion to one which is increasingly becoming a theocracy, and one in which some Jews are more equal than others. Forget the BDS nonsense. and to hell with the Palestinians; this is my big beef.

  4. They should replace the US based program Nefesh b Nefesh with a private enterprise- the staffers of NBN are lazy, uncaring and detached, and yes, disrespectful too. usually the staffers are those who didn't want to serve in the IDF. They are most unhelpful and uninspiring. In Israel I was not that impressed either. Bureaucrats what can one expect. Also diaspora youth need a new Betar style of zionism movement to inspire the youth in the diaspora who have had their minds filled with pro arab leftist rot. The Federation of America is not doing anything about this growing anti-israel phenomena on college campuses, and even in Hillel there is great infiltration of leftist ideology. Then there is OTI, a spawn of UCI Hillel. a "dialogue" program on campus in UC California, where Jews are sent with Arab students, to Jordan and Ramallah to get the" truth " about the "occupation" from unnamed Hamasniks and former IMS leaders. Wow. Really now. Isn't it time for the JA of Israel to step in and take over??? What are they doing these days anyhow???They need to work in conjunction with the Jewish Federations of America to ensure that the right kind of political and historical "dogma " is being disseminated and perpetuated. There needs to be policing for our children's minds. Arab propaganda war has won the hearts and minds of our youth. Money does talk. If we do nothing to capture the hearts and minds of 6 million lost souls, Jews of all shapes and colors, then we will never have the critical mass that is integral to our survival as a viable nation. Am israel Chai. Deborah Bee
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    Dan Silagi · Top Commenter · U of chicago

  5. Sharnasky, IWhat are you doing for the millions of Jews outside of Israel. You once mentioned the concern you had for former Israelis that are here in the states, but what about the rest of us? What, are we chopped liver. There are 6 million of us here, and if you give up on us, we shall die out, And again, we will see losses like that of the Shoah. How are we to gain momentum if we keep being halved every 60 or so years??? We are losing our critical mass. I see no programs to bridge the gap between our diaspora societies with Israel. There is nothing that cries out COME HERE. BE WITH US. I personally have met serious negativity and animosity for my being an American Jew..

    There is this death of zionism, and that is very dangerous for Israel. Without Jewish idealism, without a heart, a central focus, Israel loses its meaning for us. Then comes loss of self respect. I think of the sad native Indians.

    Our zionism is our raison d etre always. We need it to breath and live. Shalom and Am Yisrael Chai.

  6. zionism is the common ground: survival of a 4,000 year old civilization. We are not supposed to give up, we are eternal. So the question is, how to maintain our separateness in a world that wants to gobble us up

  7. 19,200 is an increase from 2012 (18000) down from 2011 (21000), about the same as 2010 (19129) and up form 2009 (16465). Israel needs to make a concerted push for French Jews. Barring some horrendous events in North America, there is not going to be mass aliyah from the US and Canada. No one should not wish for such events either. Bringing more French Jews from Europe and the remaining Beni Menashe from India should modestly increase the numbers in 2014. Israel is not going to be seeing 80,000 immigrants per year like in the 1990s but they should aim for 25,000-30,000 per year. That is not an unreasonable number to integrate into the workforce annually. Recent governments of Israel pay lip service but hardly make it a priority. Smarter men than I have considered the problem, but it seems there are practical things (not related to Israeli-Arab conflict) you could do to encourage immigration:

    1 Property is too expensive. It is not just because Israel is small. Only a tiny portion of the land is privately-held. Double the amount of privatized land and housing costs will go down and supply will go up. Governments are so afraid of Qatari or Saudi businessmen snatching up all the land and giving it to Arabs as if they couldn't privatize it in a way that eliminated that risk. Israel currently ranks 140th in dealing with construction permits and 151st in registering property.
    2 The economy is still essentially socialist- wage controls, price controls on food, disproportionately strong unions (like port workers) public control of key industries (like electricity) and so on. These policies are so discredited that most western countries scaled back on these things 25+ years ago. Israel is ranked 35th in ease of doing business which is below Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and the UAE. If its economy more closely resembled Switzerland or Singapore (both of which are wealthier in absolute terms and per capita) then it would be more attractive to immigrants and more prosperous generally. And yes, economic considerations matter and should matter when you are thinking about moving your family half way across the world. Ideology should go hand-in-hand with economic opportunity.
    3 The Rabbinate is still holding up the conversions of 100,000 non-Jewish family members of Soviet Jews. These are people who want to integrate fully but are being prevented. If you have non-Jewish relatives then the prospect of their conversions being held up for 20 years makes immigration less attractive. Conversions need to be streamlined for non-Jewish family members.
    4 There needs to be civil marriages. People shouldn't have to go to Cyprus to get married. I don't really see how inconveniencing and pissing people in their dealings with the Rabbinate strengthens Judaism.
    5 Unstable governments increase uncertainty with relation to economics and security. Predictability and stability are important for immigrants especially those coming from places with predictable governments. Israel is ostensibly addressing this, but hey still have yet to raise the election threshold from 2% to 4%. It is 5% in most of Europe.

  8. me I made myself pretty damned clear. Making aliyah will be an extremely difficult sell until Israel has full freedom of religion for men and women, religious and otherwise. As for me, I'll stay the hell here in the USA, which isn't the diaspora. Capice?

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