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Preparing for a Surge in Aliyah

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5 Feb 2021
Preparing for a Surge in Aliyah

Over the past forty years, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has been privileged to bring home to Israel more than 160,000 Jewish immigrants from around the world, usually in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel. This includes the 3,141 Jews we assisted with Aliyah last year, despite all the coronavirus lockdowns and travel bans. So, what can we expect in the months and years ahead?

Like other Israeli officials, JAFI chairman Isaac Herzog is very upbeat about the prospects for Jewish return to Israel in the near future. At the ICEJ’s Envision Conference last week, he forecast that up to 250,000 Jewish immigrants will arrive in Israel within the next 3-to-5 years. This surge in Aliyah is being triggered by several factors, including the corona threat, the way Israel has responded effectively to it, the spike in corona-related antisemitism, and the way many have discovered they can work from home and even remotely from a distant land. As a result, Herzog said most of the expected 250,000 new arrivals will be young adults with so-called ‘free professions’.

Herzog explained that last year there was a dramatic rise in the number of Jewish families who inquired with JAFI about immigration to Israel, with 90,000 calls coming in from around the world, including many from the West. This has led to the opening of some 25,000 new immigration files, with a 91% increase from Western countries, including a 400% jump from North America. Herzog added that the number of people who have contacted the Jewish Agency about Aliyah from English-speaking countries has increased by 50%, and by 70% from French-speaking countries.

“Undoubtedly, we are fulfilling biblical prophecy and the Christian world has a major role to play in bringing about the fulfillment of these prophecies”, Herzog told hundreds of pastors attending Envision online. “We are grateful to Christians who support the idea of bringing Jewish people back to their ancient homeland. And I again want to thank the International Christian Embassy for the outstanding work you are doing to help with this.”

Danielle Mor, who oversees JAFI’s outreach to Christians, recently expressed her thanks as well, telling ICEJ Aliyah coordinator Howard Flower: “It is remarkable that we could bring such a large number of immigrants in a time of closed borders, almost a standstill in dozens of government offices around the world, the cancellation of thousands of flights, and so many other hardships. ICEJ played a major part in this and for that, as always, we thank you.”

So which countries will all these expected Jewish immigrants come from? The world’s Jewish population currently is estimated at 14.7 million. Israel is now home to over 45% of these Jews, while 90% of the remaining Jewish communities outside of Israel reside in Western countries – including the Americas, Europe, and the Commonwealth nations (Britain, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc.).


JAFI has specific partners assisting with Aliyah in various regions of the world, and in recent years they have looked to the Christian Embassy for help with Jewish families returning from the former Soviet republics, eastern and western Europe, Ethiopia, and at times from Latin America. The ICEJ also has been helping to bring the Bnei Menashe tribe from India and the Kaifeng Jews from China. All of these Aliyah routes remain open for us in the year ahead.

So far in 2021, we have sponsored flights for 100 Ethiopian Jews who arrived in Israel on New Year’s Day. We are now poised to bring another 200-to-300 Ethiopian Jews as soon as Ben-Gurion Airport is re-opened. The airport has been temporarily shut down – for the first time since Israel’s founding in 1948 – due to concerns that one of the new variants of the coronavirus would enter the country and undermine the government’s ambitious efforts to mass vaccinate the entire population by April. But as soon as the airport reopens, hopefully next week, we can expect that flight from Addis Ababa. That would mean the ICEJ will have sponsored flights for 500 of the 2,000 Ethiopian Jews airlifted to Israel over recent months as part of “Operation Rock of Israel.”

With your help, the Christian Embassy will continue to play a central role in the historic and prophetic Ingathering of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland in the months and years ahead. A new surge of Aliyah is on the way, so please give generously to support the ICEJ’s Aliyah efforts in 2021.

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