Photo Credit: Flash90
An oleh from North America kisses the ground of Eretz Israel while his children look on, August 14, 2019.

On the occasion of Immigration Week, the Ministry of Aliyah and Absorption and the Jewish Agency on Sunday published updated data on the extent of immigration to Israel. The main figure shows a 31% increase in the number of olim since the beginning of 2021, compared to the corresponding period last year: 20,360 this year compared to 15,598 last year.

Russia is at the top of the list of countries of origin in 2021 with 5,075 olim, followed by the United States with 3,104 olim, assisted by Nefesh Benefesh. In third place is France, with 2,819 olim, followed by Ukraine with 2,123. 1,589 arrived from Ethiopia, most of them in Operation Tzur Israel, which was led by the Ministry of Aliyah and Absorption and the Jewish Agency. The operation united Ethiopians with their families in Israel. In addition, since the beginning of the year, 780 olim have arrived from Belarus, 633 from Argentina, 490 from the United Kingdom, 438 from Brazil, and 373 from South Africa.

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Jerusalem absorbed the highest number of olim in 2021 – 2,184. Next on the list are Tel Aviv with 2,122 olim, Netanya with 2,031, Haifa with 1,410, and Ashdod with 744 new olim.

More than half the olim in 2021 are 35 years of age or younger. 23.4% of the olim are children and teenagers ages 0 to 17, 33.4% are young people ages 18-35, 16.3% of the olim in 2021 are ages 36-50, 13% are 51-64, and 13.9% of the immigrants are 65 or older.

The data show that of the olim who arrived in 2021, 17.3% are in services, trade, and marketing, 6.1% in the humanities and social sciences, 5.2% in technology and engineering, 4.2% in the medical and paramedical professions, 3.6% in accounting and law, and 2.7% of the olim in 2021 are in education.

Aliyah Day is celebrated at the height of Aliyah Week each year, the seventh day of the month of Cheshvan, the day when Jews in Israel start praying for rain. Aliyah Week precedes the Parsha of Lech Lecha in Bereshit, in which God tells Abraham to go to the Land of Israel. The Aliyah Day Law emphasizes the “importance of aliyah as a basis for the existence of the State of Israel, its development and its design as a multicultural society.”

About 3.3 million olim have arrived in the State of Israel since its establishment, about 44.6% of whom arrived from 1990 onwards.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.