Aliyah of Families | The Jewish Agency - U.S.

More and more families worldwide are choosing to make Aliyah, with parents wanting their kids to grow up in Israeli society.

In 2020, along with their families, 5,748 children aged 0–18 made Aliyah, with kids constituting 27% of all olim (immigrants) from around the world.

Giselle, Ariel and their two teens are one of those families. Their Aliyah date in March looked impossible, as the coronavirus pandemic was starting to rapidly spread. But with their collective 20 pieces of luggage packed, jobs quit and school left, and having informed their landlord the apartment would be available to lease, postponing their move from Argentina was not an option. Luckily, The Jewish Agency was able to get them on a flight and the family entered a 14-day quarantine period upon their arrival.

“Despite not knowing what would really happen when we got to Israel, and nothing going according to our plans, we never doubted our decision to get on the plane,” said Giselle.

The family stayed at an apartment for new olim in Kfar Saba for several months, subsidized by The Jewish Agency.

Read more about the family’s Aliyah journey >

Photo courtesy of Giselle
Photo courtesy of Giselle

Among Argentinian Jews, Aliyah rose by 26% in 2020 compared to 2019.

When we say Aliyah of families, we mean all family members! Dima, Wolya and their 12-year-old daughter, Ksuysha, made Aliyah in mid-May with 50 other olim from Ukraine, and knew their move would need to include their five-year-old cat, Lyuba. Notably, Lyuba was one of four cats and two dogs traveling with their families to start new lives in Israel.

“Lyuba is part of the family and we cannot imagine our home without him,” said Dima. “Of course, starting our life in Israel will be hard at first, but we have a wonderful and proven cure for stress; a few minutes with Lyuba, petting his silky fur, and everything becomes easier.”

Read more about how these olim from Ukraine – and some of their pets – moved to Israel during COVID-19 >

Photo courtesy of Dima
Photo courtesy of Dima

Another newsworthy Aliyah flight took place in August, when a first-of-its-kind charter flight from Mexico, carrying 230 olim and Masa Israel Journey participants, landed at Ben Gurion Airport. Dubbed “Operation Home,” the flight was organized by The Jewish Agency and Hanoar Hatzioni (a Zionist youth movement), with support from Keren Hayesod.

“While we were in lockdown in Mexico City, we understood that we’d do just fine on our own in a new country,” said Miriam, who made Aliyah with her husband and four kids.

“Being at home alone for three and a half months taught us that we’re a strong family, and a family capable of making this change.”

Learn more about the incredible “Operation Home” >

David Salem / Zoog Productions for The Jewish Agency for Israel
David Salem / Zoog Productions for The Jewish Agency for Israel

During COVID, In our Absorption Centers for olim,

Around 280 Jewish Agency staff members were on call 24/7 helping to drop off meals, provide check-ins and offer emotional support to thousands of immigrants.