Immigration to Israel Rises by 7% — Led by French

France Newcomers Outpace Aliyah From U.S.

getty images

By JTA

Published December 29, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israel welcomed some 19,200 new immigrants in 2013, with French Jews leading the way.

The number of new immigrants in 2013 was a modest increase from the 18, 940 who arrived in 2012, the Jewish Agency for Israel said in a statement.

The year 2013 saw a 7 percent increase in aliyah from most countries, with the exception of Ethiopia, whose numbers are set by the Israeli government. This past year marked the conclusion of Operation Dove’s Wings, which brought the remainder of those in Ethiopia who have been deemed eligible to immigrate to Israel.

The most dramatic increase in aliyah numbers was from France, with 3,120 immigrants, a 63 percent increase over the previous year. The Jewish Agency credited its programs to introduce French young people to Israel with much of the increase.

The statement said that the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption and The Jewish Agency are set to introduce in the coming year new programs to ease the immigration and absorption process and make it easier for Israelis residing in France to return to Israel.

Some 2,680 immigrants arrived from the United States in 2013, compared to 3,070 last year, a 13 percent decline.

Another 321 immigrants made aliyah from Canada, about the same as last year’s 319.

The largest group of immigrants to Israel in 2013 came from the former Soviet Union and numbered 7,520, compared to last year’s 7,629, a 1 percent decrease.

Some 1,240 immigrants came to Israel from Latin America in 2013, a 34 percent increase over last year’s 926.

The new immigrants to Israel were younger than in the past, with 60 percent under the age of 35, including 37 percent between the ages of 18 and 34. The oldest immigrant was a 103-year-old man from the United States and the youngest was five weeks old, also from the United States.

Some 2,400 new immigrants chose to settle in Jerusalem, and another 1,650 headed to Tel Aviv.

“The 2013 data proves that more and more Jews around the world realize that Israel is their home. 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 Minister of Immigration and Absorption Sofa Landver.

“This is an era of aliyah by choice, rather than aliyah of rescue, and so it is important that we continue The Jewish Agency’s efforts to strengthen the young generation’s Jewish identity and deepen their connections to Israel,” Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky said.


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!
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • 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.