El Al airplane
El Al airplanePhoto: Moshe Shai / Flash90

The Jewish Agency responded to the figures published Monday morning on the numbers of Jews making Aliyah between 2012-2019 and rejected the allegation that the vast majority of new immigrants were not Jewish.

"The Jewish Agency rejects the data published in articles this morning reporting erroneous data on the number of Jews making Aliyah and their eligibilty. These articles are harmful and insulting to the hundreds of thousands of Jewish Olim who are living out the Zionist dream of building their future and their children’s future in Israel.

"To the best of our knowledge, the source of the information cited in the articles is not reputable and Jewish Agency data presents a different picture altogether. As we recently reported, the past decade brought over 255,000 new Olim to Israel from 150 countries. Take as an example the erroneous information reported about France: In complete opposition to what was reported this morning, according to Jewish Agency data nearly 97% of Olim from France are Jews according to halakha and just 3% were eligible for Aliyah under the Law of Return.

"The Ministry of Interior was right in clarifying the information reported on the number of Jewish Olim and correct the false impression on eligibilty."

The Hiddush organization – a trans-denominational progressive group backed by the Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative movements, released a report this morning alleging that just 14% of new immigrants to Israel are Jewish under halakha, or Jewish law.

Following the story's publication, a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry's Administration of Border Crossings, Population and Immigration said that there appeared to be an error in the figures provided to Hiddush, adding that the numbers would be re-examined.