Jews From All Around the World Return Home

Aliyah Update

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Posted on: 
18 May 2017 (All day)
Jews From All Around the World Return Home

The Aliyah numbers have increased rapidly over the past few years due to wars and anti-Semitic aggression around the world. The ICEJ is leading the way in helping many more Jews come home to the land of their fathers. Please join the ICEJ in responding to this urgent need!


When the civil war broke out in Ukraine in the Spring of 2014, the ICEJ reacted quickly to raise money for flights and flight-related expenses to help the Jews caught in the crossfire. Although Aliyah from Ukraine has recently slowed, the ICEJ expanded the work to also sponsor absorption programs in Israel which help these new immigrants learn Hebrew and gain job skills to integrate in the society. Since the crisis began the ICEJ has rescued 1,318 Ukrainian Jews from the warzone and the work continues.


Since the Islamic terror reached France in 2001, more than 50,000 French Jews have made Aliyah to Israel. In 2008, the ICEJ began assisting them upon arrival in Israel with immediate absorption needs and, in 2010, we began sponsoring flights. In 2015, a new program was designed to help Jewish families in France who live in impoverished, thus dangerous, neighborhoods surrounded by Muslim immigrants from North Africa, where they are often victims of hate crimes. The safety situation in France is not improving. Riots and acts of terrorism are frequent and many await their chance to come home to Israel. Since 2010, ICEJ has assisted more than 4,000 French Jews in their journey to come home.


The weak economy in Belarus is a strong argument for the local Jewry to pursue Aliyah. Last year the Aliyah numbers from Belarus increased by 90% from the previous year. Since 2006, the ICEJ has helped some 4,000 Belarusian Jews with their trip to Israel. This work is coordinated through the ICEJ offices in Helsinki (Finland) and St. Petersburg (Russia). Currently the tensions between Russia, Belarus and NATO are sparking major regional concerns and the interest in and pursuit of Aliyah is expected to rise even more. So far in 2017, the Belarusian Aliyah is already up by 88% from the same period in 2016.


ICEJ began helping the Jews of the Soviet Union in 1986 when they went through Vienna. Since 1989, ICEJ has been assisting the Russian Jews in the northwest region to make Aliyah through Finland. In the 1990s, the Jewry from all over the former Soviet Union attempted Aliyah by the northern route – through Finland – because the southern routes were much longer and slower. After a stagnant period, Aliyah from the former Soviet Union has doubled since the world economic crisis in 2008. Today the economy in Russia is again very weak. Last year the ICEJ assisted about a thousand Russian Jews to return to Israel. Aliyah has risen 34% in the first months of 2017.

Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Uzbekistan:

The ICEJ also assists Jewish people to make Aliyah in other former Soviet Republics, like Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Uzbekistan. Although these numbers are not as great as Russia or Ukraine, there are still Jewish communities in these nations. This work is also supervised by the Finnish branch and the St. Petersburg office.


The unique tribe of Bnei Menashe is one of the youngest to start making Aliyah to Israel. Since 2012, the ICEJ has been sponsoring most of the flights for the Bnei Menashe who are coming to Israel from Northeast India. More than 1,000 came with our assistance during the past four years.


In 2000, the ICEJ brought the first family of Kaifeng Jews to Israel through Finland, and we have actively helped nearly two dozen who have come since then. Five young ladies from Kaifeng, China, are living in Israel today to pursue their Jewish studies at Jerusalem’s Center For Advanced Torah Study For Women. Although these numbers are small, the Aliyah from China is particularly interesting.