Aliyah Day: celebrating coming home
October 12th is Aliyah Day, a day of celebrating our return to Israel.
It is a day of nationalism, of gratitude, and of vision for Israel's future.
On July 5, 1950, the Law of Return was passed in Israel. This law gives Jewish people around the world the legal right to come and live in Israel and obtain citizenship.
As the law proclaims:
"Every Jew has the right to come to Israel as an Oleh!"
This law ensures that any Jew who desires to return to Israel and permanently settle here can. Over the course of Israel's history as a state, mass Aliyah efforts have occurred all over the world- Africa, Russia, America, France (many in which the Israeli government helped with). Within the first 3 years the law was passed, the biggest wave of Aliyah occurred, with over 688,000 Jews returning home, and during a time when picking up and moving was difficult, challenging, and complex. With little or no resources to begin a new life, many new olim of the time braved the harshest conditions in order to finally come home.
But over the last decade, Israel has seen thousands of families and singles making the journey home, and many leaving behind lives of comfort and ease.
For some, it is the Zionism that has been instilled within them as children in their Jewish communities, while for others, it was a simple trip to Israel that reminded them of their forgotten roots. Most Jews can agree that one visit to Israel will have you falling in love already!
Since the establishment of the State, over 3 million Jews have made Aliyah to Israel, and 20,000 made Aliyah in the year 2020 alone, while in 2019, the number hovered around 35,000- more than triple the amount of new citizens 10 years ago!
Part of what makes Israel unique is the fact that it is indeed the one and only Jewish State. And that is partially due to the Law of Return. Where else can you get citizenship solely based on your religious roots? All Jews can become Israeli citizens because of this law!
In 1970, this law was even further extended to include citizenship rights to non-Jewish children, grandchildren, and spouses, to guarantee that families could stay together.
Today, we take the time each year to honor Israel's success in becoming a permanent home to a scattered nation all over the world. We celebrate in the streets, in our homes and schools, and remind ourselves of the gift we have been given!
While we may celebrate Israel and its citizens each and every day here at iKonnect, we are grateful to share a special day nationwide to honor and support every Jew who has made the journey back home!