Greater numbers of senior citizens are making aliyah, according to report

Russian immigrants (new olim) attend an event marking the 25th anniversary of the great Russian aliyah to Israel from the former Soviet Union at the Jerusalem Convention Center on Dec. 24, 2015. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.

Greater numbers of senior citizens are making aliyah, according to report

Knesset report says 14 percent of new immigrants to Israel in 2017 were over 65 • Nearly half of seniors who make aliyah come from Russia and Ukraine, 17 percent hail from France.

 The idea of aliyah—Jews immigrating to Israel from the Diaspora—generally conjures up the image of young single people or young families. But plenty of people aged 65 and over also make the decision to come to Israel once they have raised their children and grandchildren, according to a new report from the Knesset Research and Information Center.

The report, based on figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics, reveals that 3,625 senior citizens made aliyah in 2017, comprising 14 percent of the total new immigrants for that year.

The report also provided an overview of aliyah by senior citizens from 1990-2017, during which a total of 228,039 senior citizens relocated to Israel from all over the world. The figures show that the gender breakdown among senior olim resembles that of the rest of the country’s senior citizen population, with 60 percent of new immigrants over the age of 65 being women compared to 40 percent men.

The vast majority of senior citizens who made aliyah in this 27-year period came from the former Soviet Union (82 percent). Another 3 percent of senior citizens came to Israel from Ethiopia, 2 percent arrived from the United States and Canada, and 1 percent from France.

The Knesset report also includes some less pleasing data: Numbers from the National Insurance Institute for 2016 show that poverty was more prevalent among senior-citizen immigrants than among the general population of senior citizens in Israel, with 20.2 percent of new immigrants over 65 living below the poverty line, compared to 16.7 percent of Israel’s senior population as a whole.

Leave a Reply