December 31, 2010
by Henry Benjamin
Aliyah from Australia and New Zealand has jumped almost 50% this year in spite of relatively low levels of anti-Semitism and a strong economy.
J-Wire asked Aviva Kogus of the State Zionist Council of New South Wales if there was any explanation.
She said: “People in this part of the world are very Zionistic…they have Israel in their hearts,”
She quoted the case of Aaron and Peta Pelach whose children already live in Israel. “They have been planning to make Aliyah for more than 35 years….and this year they did it. There is no formula as to why this increase is happening. Each case is individual.”
President of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Dr Danny Lamm added: “”It reflects many factors which relate to the country involved. In Australia we have good aliya shlichut through the Zionist Federation of Australia. Coupled with the combination of youth movements, Jewish day schools and Israel experiences. Add the above to the strong Zionist identification worldwide in response to the concerted attacks in Israel plus the strength of Israel’s economy and the result is the excitement of life in Israel which is attracting Jewish people everywhere.”
In 2009, 175 people made Aliyah from Australia an d New Zealand. Figures release by the Jewish Agency show that the figure for 2010 has topped 260…250 from Australia and 10 from New Zeland.
Aviva Kogus added: “We have had young and old, singles and families…it’s across the board.”
Oren Sella, the Federal Aliyah sheliach said: “The figure is the highest since 1973 =…we are almost 50% and the rest of the world is 18-20%”
President of the Zionist Federation of Australia Philip Chester said: “”It shows that the Zionist movement is alive and well. The figures are a testament to the work done by our shluchim Oren and Shai in Sydney and Melbourne. I could not be happier.”