The Jewish Agency has reported that the number of immigration request files opened for Latin American Jews has increased dramatically over the past few months: a 21% increase was recorded in May; 115% in June and 50% in July. Over the past five years, 8,400 Jews have immigrated to Israel from Latin America, mainly from Argentina and Brazil,
According to MK David Bitan, those Latin American Jews who are hesitant about making Aliyah cite the language barrier, possible difficulties in finding employment, cultural gaps, concern that their standard of living will decline, and that they will not find suitable housing. In addition, particularly in Mexico, there is a fear of losing the sense of community.
However, that began to change when the coronavirus pandemic intensified.
“During the corona pandemic, Israel has become a destination,” says MK David Bitan. “Here people can maintain a full Jewish life without being afraid – this is the reason for immigration from Brazil and Mexico – and Israel is known for the quality education for children and quality academic education for young adults.”