Following the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine on February 24, a large number of Jews decided to immigrate to Israel under the so-called Israeli Law of Return, which allows every Jewish person in the world to immigrate to Israel and acquire citizenship.
At the end of 2022, the Jewish Agency published data regarding the number of new immigrants who arrived in Israel, boasting that the country welcomed around 70,000 new immigrants, the largest number of immigrants in 23 years. Expectedly, most of these newcomers arrived from Ukraine and Russia.
The problem for Israel, however, is not with new immigrants, but rather with the phenomenon known in Hebrew as ‘Yordim’ – ‘Yerida’ means ‘descent’ – a term used to describe Jews who leave the Jewish state. According to Israeli statistics, two months after the start of the war in Ukraine, about 1,800 Russian Jews – out of the 5,600 who benefited from the ‘Law of Return’ – actually returned to Moscow with their Israeli passports. This means that a third of the Russian Jews who arrived in Israel rushed to leave the country.