Global Weekly Aliyah News: July 9, 2020Jul 09, 2020 • By Aliyah News Reporter
Aliyah News Report July 9, 2020
Jewish Agency Sharply Raises Estimate of Near-Term Immigration
A recent conference organized by the Jerusalem Post newspaper entitled “COVID-19 and the Jews: Challenges and Opportunities” included a statement by Isaac Herzog, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, in which he updated a previous estimate of new immigrants who will be making Aliyah to Israel in coming years. A previous Jewish Agency estimate of 90,000 new immigrants by the end of 2021 has been put to the side, as the Agency now thinks there will be as many as 250,000 by the middle of the decade.
Among the reasons Herzog listed for the increased numbers in the new estimate are the favourable view many Jewish people around the world have of how Israel has dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic in comparison with other countries. Sadly, this narrative includes a large number of prominent leaders of Jewish communities around the world who have succumbed to the disease, leaving their constituents looking for ways to rebuild their shattered community structures. The way many of them think they can do it, Herzog said, is by moving to Israel.
“Clearly, this is a change of paradigm, that reflects reality – the emergence of Israel as the true center of Jewish life,” he said. “Israel is emerging as a place that sets the example, and in a global platform, we are dealing with the challenges of current communities in education, security, and leadership.”
Israel Blesses the World
Amidst the escalating global crisis surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, an Israeli company named Sonovia announced this week that it has developed a fabric which can neutralise close to 99% of the coronavirus, even after being washed multiple times. The fabric can be used to make masks, surgical gowns and other tools necessary for medical personnel to treat patients, as well as masks for people to wear in public to help slow the spread of the highly contagious disease. The company’s announcement included a note that it had already received orders for the newly developed fabric from hospitals in Germany and the US, while masks made from the fabric are already available to consumers on several online retail platforms.
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi Tours Negev
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi made a tour of the Negev desert in Israel’s south on Tuesday, meeting with mayors of Beersheeba, Arad and Dimona, as well as several IDF bases in the region. The purpose of the tour was to assess the progress of a multi-year plan to move several more IDF bases and infrastructure out of Israel’s crowded central region and into the Negev. The plan has already seen impressive numbers of career soldiers moving to the Negev, freeing up valuable real estate in the center of the country for residential and commercial use, as well as expanding the areas available for training.
Analysis – What Does All This Mean?
Many more Jewish people want to return to their ancestral homeland in the coming years than was estimated even a few weeks ago by the Jewish Agency. It is not unreasonable to imagine that these estimates will need to continue to be adjusted upward, as the forces both “pushing” Jewish people around the world to consider making Aliyah, as well as the forces “pulling” Jewish people home to Israel will likely intensify.
The devastating COVID-19 death toll on rabbis and Jewish community leaders around the world at the precise moment when these communities have come under increasing threat from rising anti-Semitism and deteriorating economic conditions make for strong “push” factors. Israel’s thriving Jewish communal life, low COVID-19 death rates and relatively steady economy are strong “pull” factors.
One of the things Israeli leaders must be thinking about is to wonder where all these new immigrants are going to live when they get here. Israel’s long-standing shortage of affordable housing is caused by, among other things, a lack of land in the center of the country available for development. The plan to move IDF bases to the Negev has the freeing up of such land as one of its primary purposes, and it’s not difficult to see why the government and the IDF would be anxious to try and speed up this process in light of the number of people on their way to come live in Israel.
Jeremiah 16:16 says; “Behold, I am going to send for many fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will fish for them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks.”
The “pull” factors can be compared to the fishers in this prophetic passage while the “push” factors can be compared to the hunters. As previously stated, all of these factors are likely to intensify in the coming days.
That is why the Aliyah Return Center is working furiously to build more of the infrastructure which will be needed to assist the government in absorbing this massive number of new immigrants. They will need a place to stay when they first arrive, guidance and direction about the best way to start working and otherwise getting adjusted to their new/old home so they can join in the effort to build the country up. Please join us in this effort to help new immigrants help themselves and bless their country.
Aliyah News Reporter
Bringing you weekly Aliyah updates from the land.