JERUSALEM (JTA) – Immigration to Israel reached a 10-year high in 2014. Approximately 26,500 new immigrants arrived in Israel last year, according to figures released Dec. 31 by The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption. The number marked a 32 percent increase in worldwide aliyah over the previous year, which saw about 20,000 new arrivals.
For the first time, according to the Jewish Agency, more immigrants came from France than from any other country. Aliyah from Ukraine was up 190 percent over the previous year; aliyah from Western Europe as a whole rose 88 percent; 620 immigrants came from the United Kingdom, 100 more than the previous year; 340 came from Italy, roughly double the previous year’s figure; some 11,430 immigrants arrived from the former Soviet Union, an increase of 50 percent over last year, with most coming from Ukraine. About 3,870 immigrants came from North America compared to some 3,600 last year. More than half the immigrants who came to Israel in 2014 were under the age of 35. The oldest immigrant, from France, was 104.