Aliyah Flying High: 3,000 North Americans in 2005

An end-of-the-year Nefesh B'Nefesh-sponsored flight of new immigrants from North America will round out a year of increased <I>aliyah</I>. Almost all recent immigrants are satisfied with their move.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 12:05

The flight is expected to leave New York on Tuesday and arrive at the new Ben Gurion Terminal 3 the following day with more than 200 new olim from the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 3,000 North American Jews, the highest number since 1984, will have "come home" by the end of the year.

The increase in aliyah (literally "moving up" to Israel) also is more successful in terms of satisfaction with the big move. An overwhelming majority of 93 percent of recent olim are satisfied with their new surroundings, a marked changed from the past.

Sociologist Prof. Haim Waxman has written in his studies more than a decade ago that more than one-third of American olim in Israel return to the U.S., a figure confirmed by Jewish Agency sources.

The results of the recent survey, carried out professional pollster Mina Tzemach, indicate a huge success by the Nefesh B'Nefesh organization, which in coordination with the Jewish Agency has encouraged and assisted new immigrants who have boarded six previous flights of olim this year.

The trend of more olim from North America has continued for three consecutive years, according to Michael Landsberg, who heads the Jewish Agency's North American bureau in New York.

Significant characteristics in the makeup of the new olim are their age and education, with a majority of those coming this week having earned at least one university degree. Most of the olim who have come via Nefesh B'Nefesh are married and between the ages of 35 and 54.

One of the major reasons for the higher success in aliyah from North America has been the olim's ability to find work, according to the survey. At least half of recent olim are currently working within their fields of study, and a similar number are satsified with their employment, including those who are working outside of their professions.

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