Israel Emigration and Immigration

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Israel Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

"Emigration" means moving out of a country. "Immigration" means moving into a country.
Emigration and immigration sources list the names of people leaving (emigrating) or arriving (immigrating) in the country. These sources may be passenger lists, permissions to emigrate, or records of passports issued. The information in these records may include the emigrants’ names, ages, occupations, destinations, and places of origin or birthplaces. Sometimes they also show family groups.

Aliyah[edit | edit source]

  • Aliyah is the immigration of Jews from the diaspora to the Land of Israel (Eretz Israel in Hebrew). Also defined as "the act of going up"—that is, towards Jerusalem—"making Aliyah" by moving to the Land of Israel is one of the most basic tenets of Zionism. The opposite action, emigration from the Land of Israel, is referred to in Hebrew as yerida ("descent").
  • The State of Israel's Law of Return gives Jews and their descendants automatic rights regarding residency and Israeli citizenship.
  • For much of Jewish history most Jews have lived in the diaspora where aliyah was developed as a national aspiration for the Jewish people, although it was not usually fulfilled until the development of the Zionist movement in the late nineteenth century. The large-scale immigration of Jews to Palestine began in 1882.
  • Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, more than 3 million Jews have moved to Israel.
  • As of 2014, Israel and the Palestinian territories together contain 42.9% of the world's Jewish population.
  • Source: Aliyah, Wikipedia This Wikipedia article leads to a wealth of information about emigration in different time periods and from different regions. It includes articles on the settlements in Israel established for each wave of emigrants. You should use this series of articles to learn all about the history, conditions, and probable localities related to your emigrant ancestor. Many settlements have websites with information about their early settlers.

Jewish Exodus From Arab and Muslim Countries[edit | edit source]

Nazi incitement in Arabia and Arab colonized lands throughout the rest of the MENA region, compounded by the re-establishment of Israel in 1948 resulted in an Arab axis aggression against both the newly reborn Jewish state and the Jewish communities in their midst. After the resulting 1948 Arab–Israeli War, about 700,000 Jews residing in other parts of the Middle East were expelled or fled from their countries of residence, and were subsequently dispossessed of nearly all of their property. The majority of these Jewish refugees made aliyah to Israel, or immigrated to France and the United States. By the Yom Kippur War of 1973, most of the Jewish communities throughout the Arab World, as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan, were practically non-existent. A total of 800,000–1,000,000 diaspora Jews left or fled from their homes in the Arab world, or were driven out in the Jewish exodus (1948-1972). As of today, less than 4,500 Jews live in the Arab world. In total, of the 900,000 Jews who left Arab and other Muslim countries, 600,000 settled in the new state of Israel, and 300,000 migrated to France and the United States. [1]

Emigration[edit | edit source]

Palestinian Diaspora[edit | edit source]

  • Palestinian individuals have a long history of migration. For instance, silk workers from Tiberias are mentioned in 13th-century Parisian tax records. However, the first large emigration wave of Arab Christians out of Palestine began in the mid-19th century; factors driving the emigration included economic opportunities, avoiding forced military service, and localized conflicts such as the 1860 civil conflict in Mount Lebanon and Damascus.
  • Since the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Palestinians have experienced several waves of exile and have spread into different host countries around the world. In addition to the more than 700,000 Palestinian refugees of 1948, hundreds of thousands were also displaced in the 1967 Six-Day War.
  • After 1967, a number of young Palestinian men were encouraged to migrate to South America.[
  • Besides those displaced by war, others have emigrated overseas for various reasons such as work opportunity, education, and religious persecution. In the decade following the 1967 war, for example, an average of 21,000 Palestinians per year were forced out of Israeli-controlled areas. The pattern of Palestinian flight continued during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
  • According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the number of Palestinians worldwide at the end of 2003 was 9.6 million, an increase of 800,000 since 2001.
  • The issue of the Palestinian right of return has been of central importance to Palestinians and more broadly the Arab world since 1948. It is the dream of many in the Palestinian diaspora, and is present most strongly in Palestinian refugee camps. In the largest such camp in Lebanon, Ain al-Hilweh, neighborhoods are named for the Galilee towns and villages from which the original refugees came, such as Az-Zeeb, Safsaf and Hittin. Even though 97% of the camp's inhabitants have never seen the towns and villages their parents and grandparents left behind, most insist that the right of return is an inalienable right and one that they will never renounce.
  • It is estimated that more than 6 million Palestinians live in a global diaspora. The countries outside the Palestinian territories with significant Palestinian populations are:
  • Jordan 3,240,000
  • Israel 1,650,000
  • Syria 630,000
  • Chile 500,000 (largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East)
  • Lebanon 402,582
  • Saudi Arabia 280,245
  • Egypt 270,245
  • United States 255,000 (the largest concentrations in Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles)
  • Honduras 250,000
  • Guatemala est. 200,000
  • Mexico 120,000
  • Qatar 100,000
  • Germany 80,000
  • Kuwait 80,000
  • El Salvador 70,000
  • Brazil 59,000
  • Iraq 57,000
  • Yemen 55,000
  • Canada 50,975
  • Australia 45,000


Yerida[edit | edit source]

  • Yerida refers to emigration by Israeli Jews from the State of Israel. Yerida is the opposite of Aliyah, which is immigration to Israel. The emigration of non-Jewish Israelis is not included in the term "Yerida".
  • Common reasons for emigration given are the high cost of living, a desire to escape from the instability of ongoing Palestinian political violence and the Arab–Israeli conflict, academic or professional ambitions, and disillusion with Israeli society.
  • Between 1948 and 1958, over 100,000 Jews emigrated from Israel.
  • According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, a little over 500,000 Israelis emigrated between 1990 and 2014, of whom about 230,000 eventually returned to Israel.
  • Over 100,000 Israeli citizens are believed to be living in Russia. Moscow has the largest single Israeli citizen community in the world, with 80,000 Israeli citizens living in the city as of 2014, almost all of them native Russian-speakers.
  • The 1990 United States decennial census indicates that 94,718 Israel/Palestine-born persons lived in the United States. The 2000 U.S decennial census indicates that the number of Israel/Palestine-born U.S. persons rose to 125,325.
  • The 2010 United States Census found an increase of 30 percent of persons born in Israel, some 140,323 persons born in Israel, up from 109,720 in 2000.
  • The 2006 Canadian census counted 26,215 persons who reported Israeli citizenship, of whom two-thirds lived in the Ontario region.
  • In 2009, a study by the University of British Columbia concluded that there were 45,000 Israelis living in Canada, while other estimates put the figure at 60,000. Of them, about 26,000 were found to live in the Vancouver Metropolitan Area. Overall, Israeli expatriates were estimated to make up 14% of Canadian Jewry.
  • Between 40,000 and 60,000 Israelis have either emigrated to or established long-term residency in India, and live primarily in Goa and Maharashtra.
  • The 2001 UK census recorded 11,892 Israelis living in the United Kingdom. Most of them live in London; particularly in the densely populated Jewish area of Golders Green. It has been estimated that there are up to 70,000 people of Israeli descent in the UK.
  • About 7,000 Israelis live in Australia. They are heavily concentrated in Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Between 8,000 and 15,000 Israeli expatriates live in Germany. Practically all of them reside in Berlin.[3]

Records of Jamaican Emigrants in Their Destination Nations[edit | edit source]

Dark thin font green pin Version 4.png One option is to look for records about the ancestor in the country of destination, the country they immigrated into. See links to immigration records for major destination countries below.

The Israel Genealogy Research Association Online Records[edit | edit source]

The Israel Genealogy Research Association has the following emigration and immigration collections in its online searchable database. To search the database, go to their Search Engine here.

  • Jewish Pilgrims to Palestine from Mogilev Guberniya 1826-1832: 30 people from Mogilev guberniya traveling to Palestine as pilgrims from the towns and shtetls: Mogilev, Rogachev, Shklov, Chausy, Bykhov and Surazh. "The Jewish Heritage Group in Belarus"
  • List of Immigrants from January 17, 1882 to August 15, 1882: 328 immigrants, most of them coming as families."Historical Archive of the Zikhron Ya’akov Local Council"
  • Immigrants After World War I, 1918-1919: 507 persons,includes Jews entering through Egypt."Central Zionist Archives"
  • Ruslan Passenger List 19 Dec 1919: Approximately 670 passengers on the ship Ruslan, list of the heads of the families also contains the number of members of the family that were on the ship. Some of the passengers said they were returning to Eretz Israel. "Central Zionist Archives"
  • Third Aliyah: Dec 1919-Apr 1921: 4,000 names which is 2/3 of the list."Israel State Archives"
  • Exiled to Palestine: The Emigration of Zionist Convicts from the Soviet Union, 1924-1934: 1759 names of people of the many thousands of active Zionists in the Soviet Union. "Donated by Prof. Boris Morozov and Prof. Ziva Galili", built while compiling the data for their book Exiled to Palestine: The Emigration of Zionist Convicts from the Soviet Union, 1924-1934.
  • Jewish Lithuanians who came on aliyah to Palestine before the establishment of the State of Israel. 1931-1944: from "LitvakSIG"
  • List of Farmers from Galicia Requesting Aliyah 1935: 51 people requesting to make aliyah to Eretz Israel. "Pinhas Lavon Institute for Labour Movement Research."
  • Deportation Lists 1939: 6,282 people on 13 ships captured in 1939."British Police in the Israel State Archives"
  • Illegal Immigrants: "Israel State Archives"
  • Immigration to Palestine 1942-1943 Miscellaneous: 2,000 immigrants from various documents. "Central Zionist Archives"
  • HaHistadrut Hazionit Hahadasha Rescue Committee, Requests for Certificates 1943-44: Request certificates for aliyah from Austria, Bulgaria, Holland, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Soviet Russia "Jabotinsky Institute in Tel-Aviv"
  • Illegal Immigrants Deported to Mauritius 1944: 443 people these lists: persons with Free State Danzig passports, persons with Free State Danzig Alien passports, and persons with German State Aliens’ passports issued at Danzig. "National Archives (UK) in London"
  • Refugees in Mauritius 1944-45: 330 Polish Nationals from Danzug interned on Mauritius. "National Archives (UK) in London"
  • 'Swiss Aliyah Requests 1945: 213 names of people requesting aliyah to Eretz Israel. "National Archives (UK) in London"
  • The Illegal Immigrants 1939 -1948: ongoing project over many years, with updates of additional names to the database."Central Zionist Archives"
  • Atlit Database Index: Database of “Bintivey Ha’apala” Clandestine Jewish Immigration Information and Research Center i
  • Lists of Immigrants from Hungary 1947: 35,000 names. "Central Zionist Archives"'
  • Miscellaneous Lists Dealing with Immigration from Europe 1942-43: "Central Zionist Archives"
  • Operation Eagles’ Wings (Magic Carpet )
  • A list of airlifted from the Hashed Camp in Aden: 1, 359 residents of Aden
  • Phase Three: 45,000 members of the Yemen Jewish community airlifted
  • South African Aliyah: by Ann Rabinowitz from information the South African Jewry 1976-77.
  • Galveston Plan – Immigrants to the United States under the Galveston Plan 1910-1914: 5,009 persons. who immigrated to the United States under the Galveston Plan. "Donated by Prof. Gur Alroey of Haifa University." Records Contents[edit | edit source]

  • name
  • maiden name
  • year of birth
  • whereabouts, 1941–1945
  • surviving spouse’s name and birthplace and year
  • father’s name
  • mother’s name
  • other surviving family members
  • number of additional family members in list
  • comments

  • Immigrants of the "Biria", 1946, index and images, ($). This collection contains the names of approximately 1,000 Jewish survivors who sailed from Sete, a small French port 200 km west of Marseille, to Palestine in 1946. These records come from a book called Underground to Palestine, which was written by one of the passengers named I.F. Stone. Some of the information includes the name, age, birthplace, and the place in Israel where the people settled.

  • Palestine, Illegal Immigration from German-Occupied Europe, 1938-1945 (USHMM), index, ($) This database contains an index of details extracted from deportation orders of illegal immigrants to Palestine from Nazi-occupied Europe and postwar Europe from 1938–1947. During this time, Great Britain exercised a mandate over Palestine and enforced strict immigration quotas. Jewish refugees who entered Palestine without valid entry permits were considered illegal immigrants. The information in this database is from Palestine Mandate Authority Police Force questionnaires and other documentation. Some of the information pertains to Jews from Vienna and Bratislava whom British authorities subsequently deported to a holding camp on Mauritius. The original documents are held by the Israel State Archives. Indexed records for individuals may include details such as:
  • name
  • gender
  • age
  • birth date
  • birthplace
  • father’s name
  • mother’s name
  • residence
  • occupation
  • employer
  • languages spoken
  • address in country of origin
  • religion
  • marital status
  • spouse’s name
  • present nationality
  • party affiliation
  • dependents
  • previous residence
  • present circumstances
  • last departure date
  • entry date
  • entry location
  • entry ship
  • route followed
  • passport details
  • document details
  • height
  • arrest date
  • offence
  • offence date
  • dependents
  • document location
  • document date
  • document number
Ordering Records
Additional details about these victims may be included in the original records. While the index is freely accessible from, the images of these records are not available in this database. Copies of the images can be ordered at no cost from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Click here for ordering information.

For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

There are additional sources listed in the FamilySearch Catalog:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries", in Wikipedia,, accessed 12 June 2021.
  2. "Palestinian diaspora", in Wikipedia,, accessed 12 June 2021.
  3. "Yerida", in Wikipedia,, accessed 12 June 2021.