Going Up from Down Under

By Yvetta
December 31, 2010

Aliyah from Britain may be down (as reported on the JC website) but aliya from Australia and New Zealand is up by almost 50% (I guess that's what happens when you have a strong committed Jewry not afraid of its own shadow, and certainly not prone to do a Mick Davis as far as Israel is concerned.)

Here's the full report, by Henry Benjamin:

Aliyah from Australia and New Zealand has jumped almost 50% this year in spite of relatively low levels of anti-Semitism and a strong economy.
J-Wire asked Aviva Kogus of the State Zionist Council of New South Wales if there was any explanation.

She said: “People in this part of the world are very Zionistic…they have Israel in their hearts,” [Sure do, folks!]

She quoted the case of Aaron and Peta Pelach whose children already live in Israel. “They have been planning to make Aliyah for more than 35 years….and this year they did it. There is no formula as to why this increase is happening. Each case is individual.”

President of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Dr Danny Lamm added: “”It reflects many factors which relate to the country involved. In Australia we have good aliya shlichut through the Zionist Federation of Australia. Coupled with the combination of youth movements, Jewish day schools and Israel experiences. Add the above to the strong Zionist identification worldwide in response to the concerted attacks in Israel plus the strength of Israel’s economy and the result is the excitement of life in Israel which is attracting Jewish people everywhere.”

In 2009, 175 people made Aliyah from Australia an d New Zealand. Figures release by the Jewish Agency show that the figure for 2010 has topped 260…250 from Australia and 10 from New Zeland.

Aviva Kogus added: “We have had young and old, singles and families…it’s across the board.”


Jonathan Hoffman

Fri, 12/31/2010 - 10:42

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It's pretty meaningless just to compare two years Yvetta. Aliya from the UK in 2009 was a record so one might reasonably expect a small fall. There are two key drivers of aliya: (i) relative economic conditions in the relevant country versus in Israel and (ii) antisemitism. As my good friend Pinchas Landau points out, there has never been a major aliya when one or other or both were not present. In the UK the major driver has been antisemitism.

And the numbers for the UK are much bigger: 756 people in 2010 versus 260 from Aus and NZ combined. That is also a bigger proportion of the Jewish population.

Joe Millis

Fri, 12/31/2010 - 11:02

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And anyway, even with the record 800+ from the UK in 2009, it's still only about two El Al Jumbos. No mass panic about anti-Semitism in the UK then. Perhaps the economic situation in the UK in 2009 was worse than in Israel. Property prices were certainly lower despite the surge in Israel compared with London and the Home Counties.
And then there's the demographics of the olim. I am willing to wager good money that a high percentage were young Orthodox families (of all streams). Secular and non-Orthodox Jews are less likely to view Israel as an option these days, which is a shame.


Fri, 12/31/2010 - 12:26

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Interesting comments, gents.
I know the couple named in the report are frum, but the Reform Jews of Oz are Zionistically inclined too, as a rule.


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