By Andrea Billups
A record number of Jewish immigrants from North America arrived in Israel in 2014, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption reported, calling the wave a 10-year high, according to Ynetnews.
More than 3,700 Jews from the U.S. and Canada as well as 525 from the United Kingdom, moved to Israel over the last year, Ynet reported, citing a 7 percent increase in those arriving from North America and a 32 percent increase overall. About 20,000 immigrants arrived in 2013.
Last year also saw a first with immigrants from France topping the list of countries of origin with 7,000 in 2014. That figure is double the number from 2013, Ynet said of the "aliyah."
The news outlet said lone soldiers coming to Israel without family members to serve as soldiers in the IDF increased by 10 percent in 2014, with 350 "young Jews from North America" enlisting last year.
“2014 was a year of record-breaking Aliyah. This year also saw a historic shift: for the first time in Israel’s history, the number of immigrants
who came to Israel from the free world is greater than that of immigrants fleeing countries in distress," Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency told The Yeshiva World.
"This trend is evidence of Israel’s attractiveness as a place where it’s good to live, as well as of the success of our joint efforts to promote Aliyah and strengthen connections between Jews around the world and the State of Israel," Sharansky said. "As we forecast further increases in Aliyah from around the world, I very much hope the next government continues to join The Jewish Agency in maintaining Aliyah encouragement and immigrant absorption as top priorities.”
Added Minister of Absorption Sofa Landver: "I am excited to see the fruits of our many efforts to encourage aliyah, but we have not yet reached our goal. Our ministry continues to work together with all relevant parties to promote the ingathering of the exiles, a vision that has accompanied the people of Israel since the state’s establishment. We expect that some 10,000 new immigrants will come from France alone next year, and we will surpass 30,000 immigrants from around the world – and even more.”
Ukraine came in second behind France with 5,840 immigrants fleeing "the Russian backed civil war and economic collapse" that led to the loss of President Viktor Yanukovich, The Jerusalem Post noted
, calling it a 190 percent increase over 2013.
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