3,504 New North American Immigrants to Israel in 2013
Instead of a projected decline, Aliyah (immigration) from North America to Israel actually showed signs of a slight upswing in 2013, according to a new release from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.
The statement corrects an error in the Ministry's statistics for global immigration into the Jewish state, which mistakenly stated in December that Aliyah from North America decreased by as much as 11%.
In an official statement that the Ministry of Absorption issued today, it was clarified that the "updated data on published on February 3, 2014 indicates a gap between the number of immigrants from North America published at the time and the current number."
"According to the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, here are the exact numbers: as of February 3, 2014 the number stands at 3,108 immigrants from the US and 396 Canadian immigrants - a total of 3,504 immigrants."
The erroneous statistics led some writers in American media to try and offer reasons for an alleged decline in North Americans' desire to immigrate to Israel.
The Ministry of Absorption also thanked the Nefesh B'Nefesh organization for working tirelessly to bring more new immigrants home to Israel.
In a letter to Executive Director Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Minister of Immigration and Absorption Sofa Landver stated, "Your organization’s admirable activities and efforts in encouraging Aliyah have made an invaluable contribution to Israel."
"As we enter 2014, I anticipate an increased effort to encourage the Aliyah of Olim and returning residents in order to double and triple the number of people we welcomed this past year," Landver continued. "This year we will be required to assist Jewish immigration from Europe and it is vital that we begin preparing for it immediately."
Landver was apparently referring to the Israeli government's initiative to bring waves of French Aliyah into Israel, in response to the rising anti-Semitism there. The program will see intense investment in the French Jewish community's Aliyah over a three-year period.