President Herzog: Jews around the world have interpreted COVID-19 as call for aliyah

October 15, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is being interpreted by Jews around the world as a call to come to Israel, and the Jewish state must be ready for them, President Isaac Herzog says.

Yaakov Hagoel, acting chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Executive, with new Olim from 26 countries who recently joined the J.A.’s Ulpan Etzion in Jerusalem. Photo credit: Elad Brami

Herzog participated on Thursday in an event in honour of Yom HaAliyah hosted by Gvahim, a non-profit that provides networks, tools, knowledge, and support to new immigrants and returning expatriates to help them find employment or build businesses in Israel.

“I assume that I am not telling you anything new when I say that COVID-19 sprung a pleasant surprise on some people, in terms of aliyah to Israel. Despite the challenges dictated by the coronavirus pandemic, Jews all around the world have interpreted the situation as a call to come here, as an opportunity to come home,” he noted

“Since this is the case, this is the best possible time—indeed, this is our duty, as the State of Israel—to encourage innovation, employment, and integration into industry among the men and women making aliyah to Israel,” he stated.

Aliyah to Israel has increased by 31% in 2021 so far with 20,360 Olim (immigrants to Israel), compared to 15,598 during the corresponding period last year, according to a report released Sunday by the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Israel saw a dramatic rise in Aliyah despite the COVID-19 pandemic despite the difficulty and limitations on international travel.

While serving as Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Herzog told the Knesset is august 2020 that the Jewish state is expecting a quarter of a million Olim in the next 3-5 years, a wave of immigration following the global COVID-19 crisis.

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