Updated: Jun 15, 2020
Aliyah. You probably heard a lot about it, maybe some of you did it, but not everybody knows what it is, and what is the historical significance of this act.
Aliyah is very similar to immigration. It literally means “to go up” or “to ascend” - one of the reasons for this term, is the higher altitude of Israel ( and Jerusalem in particular), compared to the altitude of the surrounding countries. The actual meaning is - the arrival of jews from all over the world = the diaspora ( תְפוּצוֹת tfutzot), to israel.
Israel has always been a desired place to live in for Jewish people worldwide. It is the real essence of Zionism, and is very important for the jewish people , this is the ultimate proof for their Judaism. They see this act as an obligation, and a dream come true: the jewish people have an independent home, after 2000 years of exile.
There were several large scaled Aliyot ( plural for Aliyah - עליות) in the modern era, the first of which was from 1882-1903, with more than 25,000 people mainly from Russia and Romania.
Who is allowed to do an Aliyah? The Law of Return ( חֹוק הַשְׁבוּת, hok hashvut) states that the state of Israel is the state of the entire Jewish people. Therefore , it gives any jewish person the legitimacy to come to Israel and gain Israeli citizenship. Also People who underwent conversion, and first-rate family members of Jews are are entitled to Israeli citizenship.
Today, jewish people who want to undergo this process, are supported and assisted with the integration into the Israeli society. They receive benefits in many fields such as - economic assistance, employment promotion, housing, health , education, and so much more. Some of the organisations that support and encourage the newcomers (עולים חדשים olim chadashim ) , are: * The jewish agency - A large jewish organization, that wants to connect the jewish people to the heritage , and the land of Israel.
* The ministry of Aliyah and integration - it responsible for helping newcomers in various fields.
* Taglit-Birthright Israel - an educational organisation which brings jewish youth to Israel for free, in order to fond their Jewish identity and connection to their heritage and culture.