Record 700 Brazilians to make aliyah in 2016, says Jewish Agency
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Record 700 Brazilians to make aliyah in 2016, says Jewish Agency

(JTA) — More than 700 immigrants from Brazil are scheduled to arrive in Israel by the end of the year, according to the Jewish Agency.

That will be more than three times the annual average of about 200 new Brazilian immigrants and a 45-year record for the South American country, the aliyah group said in a statement Sunday.

“The Brazilian Jewish community is a warm, Zionist community with strong ties to Israel,” said Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the Jewish Agency, who is currently visiting Brazil and meeting with the local Jewish community. “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 increase in aliyah from Brazil is taking place in the midst of an economic crisis in the country. Some 496 Brazilian immigrants arrived in Israeli in 2015, and 280 arrived in 2014, by the Jewish Agency’s count.