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Christians help 1,000 Jews immigrate to Israel since start of coronavirus

Christians help 1,000 Jews immigrate to Israel since start of coronavirus


The flight was organized by the Jewish Agency and paid for by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, a pro-Israel Evangelical organization.


A new flight bearing 57 new immigrants from the former Soviet Union arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport Tuesday morning, the latest in the ongoing efforts of aliyah organizations to keep new olim coming despite the COVID-19 pandemic.


The flight was organized by the Jewish Agency and paid for by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, a pro-Israel Evangelical organization, which has helped bring approximately 1,000 new immigrants to the country since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Israel in February.


The new arrivals came from countries of the former Soviet bloc, and in total took nine connecting flights, before embarking on the final leg of their journey to Israel.


They will need to remain in quarantine for 14 days due to COVID-19 restrictions on all those entering the country.

Immigrants assisted by the ICEJ have come from Ethiopia and the countries of the former Soviet Union on 85 flights, including connecting flights.


“The coronavirus pandemic has brought much suffering and negative headlines all over the world, but one of the positive stories coming out of this crisis is the surprising surge in aliyah, as many Jewish families are seeking a way to reach Israel as soon as possible,” said ICEJ president Dr. Jürgen Bühler.


“We are both honored and elated to play a key role in this unique chapter in the modern-day return to Israel, as even a global pandemic could not stop Jewish people from finding their way home to Israel.”


Immigration to Israel in 2020 is down in comparison to 2019, however, largely due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


From January to April of this year, 6,368 new immigrants arrived in the country, compared to 9,899 in the same period last year, a decrease of some 36%.


The decrease in April was particularly sharp, with 86% fewer immigrants arriving than in April 2019.


According to the Jewish Agency, the decreases are due to the restrictions on international travel, and the closure of local authorities due to the global public health crisis.


Nevertheless, officials in the Jewish Agency believe that as many as 50,000 new immigrants could arrive in Israel next year, which would be a large increase compared to recent years, precisely because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the various consequences of the health crisis in countries with large Jewish populations.


Of those who have arrived in 2020, 75% are from the former Soviet Union and 8% from Western Europe and 6% from North America.


Jeremy Sharon June 16, 2020

https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/57-new-immigrants-arrive-from-former-soviet-union-631662

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