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American Olim Love Jerusalem

One-third of American olim choose Jerusalem as their home, and the percentage of olim moving to the capital is on the increase.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 5/20/2012, 2:55 PM

Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Israel news photo: Flash 90

One-third of American olim choose Jerusalem as their home, and the percentage of olim moving to the capital is on the increase.

The percentage of olim (immigrants) preferring Jerusalem as their new home in Israel has risen dramatically from the decade of the 1990s, when the vast majority of newcomers were from the former Soviet bloc.

The most recent statistics available are from 2010, but the trend was estimated to have continued last year.

Jerusalem was the number one choice for 15 percent of all new immigrants in 2010, according to the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies (JIIS).

Out of 17,000 olim, 2,550 moved to Jerusalem, 1,000 to Tel Aviv and 920 to Haifa. In the previous decade, Carmiel, located east of Haifa in the Galilee, and the southern port city of Ashdod were the biggest favorites of olim.

Jerusalem, which is relatively more expensive, was largely neglected. In 1999, only 5.8 percent of olim made their home in the capital. The number jumped to 12 percent in 2005 and 15 percent in 2010 as the percentage of Western immigrants also grew.

Fifteen percent of immigrants from France and 10 percent from Britain re-settled in Jerusalem in 2010.

Unlike the 1990s, when olim moving to the capital preferred the northern Jerusalem areas of Pisgat Ze’ev and Neve Yaakov, more are moving into the more expensive neighborhoods of Talbieh, Rehavia and the center of the city. Har Homa, located on the southern edge of Jerusalem and east of Gilo, also is a popular destination.