Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN), in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, and JNF-USA, reports that Jerusalem consistently ranks as the leading and most popular destination among olim (new immigrants to Israel) from the United States and Canada.
Since the establishment of the organization in 2002, approximately 17,000 olim from North America have immigrated to Israel’s capital.
The Jerusalem Municipality and Nefesh B’Nefesh co-hosted a series of events designed to guide and assist future olim who intend to immigrate to Jerusalem. A delegation of representatives from the Municipality, headed by Pini Glinkewitz, as well as Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah (immigration to Israel) professionals, were on site to assist the future olim with all of their aliyah-related inquiries.
“We are thrilled that Jerusalem remains a top destination among North American olim, and I would like to congratulate Nefesh B’Nefesh for their partnership in creating this joint initiative,” said Moshe Lion, Mayor of Jerusalem. “The Jerusalem olim community is growing and flourishing, and we must continue to nurture and invest in it. We are proud to have welcomed thousands of new olim to Jerusalem this past year and look forward to assisting many more newcomers as they begin their new lives in the State of Israel.”
The events took place this past week in various locations, including New York, New Jersey, and Toronto, and were attended by over 300 future and potential olim. Those who attended met with designated local Jerusalem representatives and obtained information on a variety of aliyah topics, including employment, housing, education, community, benefits, social events, and more.
“The capital city of Jerusalem, under the leadership of Mayor Moshe Lion, continues to prove itself as a destination that aims to embrace new olim and provide them with an optimal absorption experience,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “We are witnessing, among our olim, a growing desire to settle in Jerusalem, and how the local Anglo community is thriving. Our responsibility, in cooperation with the Jerusalem Municipality, is to increase accessibility of all resources and services, thereby providing the olim with the security to make Jerusalem their new home.”
Sela and Yozi Wagner, who currently reside in Queens, New York, attended one of the aliyah events to further develop their plans to make aliyah.
“We know we want to make aliyah in the coming years, so it was a natural step for us to come to the Next Year in Jerusalem event to hear more information about Jerusalem, where we hope to live,” said Sela. “All the representatives from the Jerusalem Municipality and Nefesh B’Nefesh have been extremely helpful in answering all of our questions. We received information about various opportunities in Jerusalem, as well as the different communities throughout Israel. We’re looking forward to making our dreams a reality.”
Nefesh B’Nefesh, which is marking its 20th anniversary this year, reported that since the beginning of 2022, 1,036 olim from North America have immigrated to Jerusalem, and by the end of the year, approximately 1,100 are expected to arrive. The leading professions among the Jerusalem olim are doctors and healthcare professionals (77), lawyers (30), educators (27), businessmen (19), and social workers (14). The Jerusalem Municipality also reports that during 2022, about 3,322 olim immigrated to the capital city, of which around 2,000 were Russian-speaking olim. This population constituted 62% of the total number of new immigrants, most of whom arrived as a result of the crisis. Twenty-two percent (22%) of the olim speak English, 8% speak French, and 6% speak Spanish.