In the wake of the current global economic crisis, a 100-percent rise in the number of Jewish citizens of the United States and Canada who inquired about immigrating to Israel was recorded in the last four months of 2008.
Israel’s first statute, passed following independence in 1948, known as the Law of Return, bestows automatic citizenship and modest financial assistance to Jews who wish to move to Israel.
According to official sources, between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2008, a total of 2,874 North American Jews made inquiries about moving to â€¨Israel.
In the same period in 2007, 1,398 made similar inquiries and 904 did so in 2006.â€¨
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Most of those who made inquiries about moving to Israel belong to one of two groups who have been most hurt by the economicâ€¨ crisis: young people who have finished their university education and are having difficulty finding a job in the United States, and young familiesâ€¨whose breadwinners were fired and are finding it difficult to cope with the high cost of living in the United States.
The number of inquiries to move to Israel did not drop last month, despite the war.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org