Published On: Mon, Nov 21st, 2016

Record 700 Immigrants From Brazil to Arrive in Israel by Year’s End Triple the everage

New Brazilian immigrants marking a 45-year record in aliyah from Brazil. Sharansky: “The Brazilian Jewish community is a warm, Zionist community with strong ties to Israel.”

Immigrants from Brazil arrive aboard an Aliyah flight arranged by The Jewish Agency for Israel. Photo credit: André Jerusalmy.

Jewish Agency data shows that some 650 immigrants from Brazil have arrived in Israel since the beginning of 2016 and the total number is expected to reach 700 by year’s end.

This marks a significant increase compared to the 496 Brazilian immigrants who arrived in 2015 and the 280 who arrived in 2014. The annual average was approximately 200 until three years ago. Similar Aliyah figures from Brazil were last seen in 1971, when some 594 Brazilian immigrants arrived in Israel.

The immigrants for 2016 marks a 45-year record in Brazillian aliyah, which reached similar levels in the 1970s, the Jewish Agency said in a statement.

“The Brazilian Jewish community is a warm, Zionist community with strong ties to Israel, ” said Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky, who is currently visiting Brazil.

“Since Israel’s establishment, more than 15, 000 Brazilian Jews have immigrated to Israel, contributing to the Jewish state’s national character and strength.”

Sharansky is scheduled to meet with Brazilian Jews who are about to immigrate to Israel, as well as with member of Jewish youth movements.

The head of the delegation, Revital Poleg, said that Aliyah from Brazil has been steadily increasing over the past three years, along with interest in life in Israel.

The increase in this Aliyah is taking place in the midst of an economic crisis in that country the Jewish community’s strong ties to Israel. “Many of the immigrants note that they view Israel as a place where they can lead Jewish lives in an environment that feels like home, ” said Poleg.

“Some seventy percent of the immigrants are young families who want to provide their children with high-quality education, or young people looking to start university studies in Israel and build their careers there.”

The Jewish community of Brazil is the second largest in Latin America, after Argentina. The numbers approximately 120, 000 which most of them are located in São Paulo (55, 000 members), Rio de Janeiro (30, 000), and Porto Alegre (10, 000). Approximately one hundred smaller communities are scattered throughout the country, the fifth-largest in the world. The Jewish Agency’s activities in Brazil take place in partnership with CONIB and centers on strengthening Brazilian Jews’ connections to Israel, developing young leadership, training counselors for Jewish youth movements, building Israel experience programs for the community’s youth, preparing candidates for Aliyah, and developing specialized Aliyah tracks for different groups.

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