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The majority of the new immigrants came from the countries of the former Soviet Union and Europe. France and Ukraine top the list with, respectively, 7,350 and 6,900 olim (people leaving for Israel). The Aliyah (return to Israel, literally: "elevation" or "going up"), especially from Ukraine increased exceptionally by as much as fifty percent, owing to the unsafe situation in East Ukraine (see the report from East Ukraine titled: “Your help is like manna”, soon to be published). From India a few hundred Bnei Menashe (see photo) were able to return last spring too. It is expected that Israel will welcome between thirty- and thirty-five thousand newcomers in 2015.
Minister of Immigrant Absorption and Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ze’ev Elkin added: “We are faced with an exciting challenge that makes great demands on us. We have to provide the immigrants with the best chances possible.”
The Jewish Agency, in cooperation with the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, enables the immigrants to follow programs for a proper start in Israel. These programs help with language, accommodation and employment. Thousands of young academics, who are trained technicians or medical specialists, come to Israel via these programs. Tel Aviv, Netanya and Jerusalem are the preferred cities in which these newcomers wish to settle.
Members of Bnei Menashe Photo: Flash90