Study: North American Olim Huge Boost to Israeli Economy

New study: North American immigrants contributed NIS 808 million to the Israeli economy within five years of making Aliyah.

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Malkah Fleisher, | updated: 22:49

Nefesh b'Nefesh landing at Ben Gurion Airport
Nefesh b'Nefesh landing at Ben Gurion Airport
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A new first-time study conducted by accounting and consulting firm Deloitte Brightman Almagor Zohar and commissioned by the Nefesh B'Nefesh aliyah organization shows the overwhelming contribution North American immigrants to Israel have made to the country's economy.

The analysis was conducted based on accumulated data provided by Nefesh B'Nefesh (NbN) about 18,000 immigrants who made Aliyah through the organization between the years 2002-2008.

According to the study, households of NbN immigrants "pay back" the Israeli government's investment in them within the first year of their arrival, and are already a significant source of income for the country within five years.
The 6,493 households which made aliyah through NbN between 2002 and 2008 have yielded a whopping 989 million shekels, with the cost of absorbing them standing at only NIS 528 million, leaving the immigrants' contribution at NIS 461 million so far.

Visiting friends and family of NbN olim have also given their boost to the economy by supporting the national tourism industry to the tune of NIS 347 million.  Adding this to the tally, NbN olim are accountable for a total GNP contribution of NIS 808 million (over $212 million). Considering the passage of another year and the continued employment and success of North American olim, that number could be higher than NIS 1 billion (almost $262.5 million)

Education and assets
Tali Barda, director of the Department of Strategic Consulting of Deloitte Brightman Almagor Zohar says the success of North American olim can be tied to three key factors:

1. The high level of higher education found among NbN immigrants. Their level (75% have a bachelor's degree or higher) is significantly higher than the average in Israel.

2. NbN immigrants tend to arrive with a lot of valuable assets. 

3. Many tourists are attracted to Israel by NbN olim, whose families and friends have pumped hundreds of millions of shekels in tourist dollars into the economy.

Other interesting findings include the considerable number of children immigrating (46%), the high employment eligibility of immigrants (81% of adult immigrants are at the age of employment), and their overwhelming success in finding a job (almost 90% are employed within 1 year of arrival).
Immigration from the United States and Canada "is contributing qualitative strength to the state," said Chairman and Founder of Nefesh b'Nefesh, Tony Gelbart. Over 150 doctors have come to Israel through the organization, said Gelbart, as well as hundreds of high-tech businesspeople and 1,500 new soldiers.

Nefesh B'Nefesh was founded in 2002 by Tony Gelbart (a Jewish businessman and philanthropist from the USA) and Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. Working in conjunction with the Jewish Agency and the Government of Israel, they have brought over 23,000 new immigrants to Israel from the US, Canada, and England in the last 8 years. To learn more, visit their website at