Israel’s Aliyah and immigration organizations of the Jewish Agency, which handles Aliyah from the majority of the world, and Nefesh B’Nefesh, which handles Aliyah from North America and England, are bracing for a massive wave of immigrants once Covid-19 Coronavirus wanes enough to allow people to make the move.
Due to the Coronavirus, applications for Aliyah are up by 400 percent from North America over previous years, and in France by more than 500 percent.
France was hit particularly hard by Covid-19 losing more than 29,000 people to the virus and the Jewish community was particularly hard hit.
Immigration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata told the Knesset on Wednesday that: “By the end of 2021, we can expect the arrival of 90,000 immigrants, compared to the 35,463 of 2019.
Israeli officials dealing with aliyah met Tuesday at the Knesset and demanded larger budgets ahead of the expected wave.
Neta Briskin-Peleg, head of Nativ, the state organization that is tasked with examining immigration requests from the former Soviet Union said, “Even before the crisis we did not have enough money, and now we have more and more requests to open files.”
Some 700 immigration files were opened in May 2020 at the Jewish Agency’s offices in France, compared to 130 in May 2019.
Ronen Foxman of Nefesh Benefesh reported at the Tuesday meeting a rise of up to 400 percent in aliyah requests in recent months.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)