December 29, 2009
By Jessica Elgot
New olim get their Jewish identity cards at the Western Wall
Aliyah from the UK has increased by 34 per cent, the largest increase in new immigrants to Israel in 2009.
The Jewish Agency for Israel has announced a global increase of 17 per cent, after more than 16,200 new olim made their home in Israel.
The largest number of the new immigrants was 3,767 from the US and Canada with, but 835 British citizens also made aliyah, the largest increase in emigration volume.
Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky said: “Every new immigrant strengthens the country and is a strategic asset to Israel.”
Michael Jankelowitz, foreign spokesman for the Jewish Agency, said: “I think British Jews have a really strong Jewish consciousness, and I think we’re making a concerted effort in Britain to encourage people to take the plunge and move to Israel.
He added: “Interestingly, I think what we’re seeing in the figures is that most immigrants are coming from the free world, from democratic countries.
“They are not running away from anything. They are choosing to come because they prefer to live in Israel. That’s very encouraging.”