U.S. aliyah highest in 36 years

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Aliyah to Israel from the United States rose by 19 percent this year over 2008, setting a 36-year record.

Some 3,324 immigrants to Israel in 2009 came from the United States. Some 3,767 came from all of North America, compared with 3,124 in 2008.

The 2009 total is the highest aliyah from North America in 36 years, according to the Jewish Agency for Israel.

New immigrants from North America in 2009 participated in several Jewish Agency absorption programs. Some 300 attended Kibbutz ulpan; 90 attended Ulpan Etzion and 200 are enrolled in degree studies through the Student Authority, according to the Jewish Agency.

Some 200 olim from North America, including 81 singles, are scheduled to arrive in Israel on Wednesday as part of a joint Jewish Agency-Nefesh B’Nefesh flight. Another 210 from South Africa, France and the United Kingdom were scheduled to arrive this week on Jewish Agency-arranged flights.

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