Jewish Immigration to Israel Dips

European Jews Making Aliyah Rose by 6%

Arrival Prayer: Immigrants pray in the terminal at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport.
getty images
Arrival Prayer: Immigrants pray in the terminal at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport.

By JTA

Published January 21, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Jewish Immigration to Israel registered a two-percent drop last year, a trend bucked by new arrivals from Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Overall, Jewish immigration to Israel stood at 18,691 in 2012 compared to 19,289 in 2011, according to an annual analysis by the Jewish Agency for Israel of figures for aliyah, or Jewish immigration to Israel. Of those, 2,432 came from Ethiopia – a 16 percent drop in immigration from that country compared to 2011.

Jewish immigration from North America shrunk for the second straight year in 2012, from 3,512 in 2011 to 3,389 last year – a four percent decrease. Immigration from the United Kingdom meanwhile rose by 23 percent, from 560 new arrivals in 2011 to 698 last year. In total, Jewish immigration from Western Europe brought 3,243 new arrivals to Israel in 2012, an increase of six percent from the previous year.

Immigration from the former Soviet Union remained steady with 7,755 new arrivals in 2012. The previous year saw 7,786 people arriving from that part of the world.

Immigration from France registered only a one-percent increase last year with 1,907 new arrivals, despite what leaders of the French Jewish community described as “an explosion of anti-Semitic incidents” occurring in France in 2012.

Richard Prasquier, president of the CRIF umbrella organization of French Jewish communities, is quoted as saying last month that “There is some Jewish emigration taking place, of which only a minority is leaving for Israel.”

Jewish immigration from Italy and from the Iberian Peninsula increased in 2012 by 50 percent and 30 percent respectively, to 160 from Italy, and 93 from Spain and Portugal, but immigration from the Benelux area - Belgium and the Netherlands - dropped by 26 percent, from 274 new arrivals in 2011 to 209 last year.

Immigration from Latin America and from South Africa both registered a 16percent drop, resulting in 925 and 173 new arrivals, respectively.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.