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Most North Americans in Israel happy with transition


NEW YORK, Feb. 28 (JTA) – Approximately three-quarters of all recent North American emigrants to Israel consider their absorption successful, according to a survey produced by the Jewish Agency for Israel.

The survey by JAFI, the institution responsible for aliyah – or Jewish immigration to Israel, was released Tuesday at its Board of Governors meeting in Jerusalem.

It was prompted by diminishing numbers of American and Canadian Jews making aliyah over the past five years.

In a random survey of 441 North Americans who had lived in Israel for anywhere from six months to two years, 25 percent said their absorption had been “very successful,” while 49 percent felt it was “successful.”

Ten percent described their experience as “not so successful,” 2 percent said “not at all successful,” and 14 percent felt it was too early to tell.

More important, according to the authors, of those enjoying successful absorptions, 61 percent would recommend aliyah to friends and family still living in the United States or Canada. Eight percent said they would recommend delaying aliyah, 5 percent would recommend they stay put, while one-quarter said they would offer no advice on the subject.

Among those recommending aliyah, Zionist ideology was the dominant issue for 52 percent of the respondents; personal fulfillment, 50 percent; and successful absorption into Israel, 45 percent.

The olim, or immigrants, who were interviewed were generally young (59 percent were 18 to 34 years old), mostly women (57 percent) and highly educated. Half were married. The vast majority had been to Israel prior to aliyah, with some Jewish education.

However, the survey did not draw conclusions on how olim could enjoy a more successful absorption.

The survey cited no margin of error.

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