Alexandr Gorobets: Ukrainian Jews no longer want to go to Israel

The Israeli embassy to Ukraine has certified a decreasing number of Ukrainian citizens who want to emigrate to Israel. According to the embassy’s officials, the main reason of decreasing number of potential emigrants is a reduction of the number of ethnic Jews in Ukraine as well as escalation of political situation in the Middle East. According to the Israeli Ministry of Absorption, from January to September of 2001, the number of repatriates from Ukraine were 10,300 people. That is, on average, one fourth less than in the same period of 2000 (13,800 people) or of 1999 (15,000 people). In all, since 1989, 296,100 people departed from Ukraine for Israel (32.5 percent of the whole number of repatriates from former Soviet republics), while the number of immigrants from Russia made 32.9 percent (300,000 people); from Central Asian republics, 12.5 percent (113,400 people); from Belorussia, 7.7 percent (69,800 people); from Moldavia, 5.3 percent (48,000 people); and from the Baltic republics, 2.3 percent (21,100 people).

In all, during 1989-2001, 911,300 people left the USSR for Israel, what made up 83.9 percent of the whole number of repatriates who came to Israel in these years. Most of them were young people of 18-32 years (24.6 percent), while immigrants under 17 years made up 23.1 percent; immigrants between the ages of 45-64 years, 20.9 percent; 33-44 years, 18.0 percent; and immigrants over 65 years made up only 13.4 percent. The greatest number of immigrants to Israel was during 1990-1991 (respectively 200,100 and 176,600 people). While the smallest number of immigrants was between 1989 and 2001 (respectively 24,300 and 30,000 people). The Jewish community in Ukraine is one of the biggest in the world. At the moment, 300,000 Israeli citizens are of Ukrainian origin. Some Ukrainian families, trying avoid the war in the Middle East, return back to the places from which they once left for the “Promised Land”. On a recent day, five families returned to their native Jewish town of Berdichev, which is 30 km from Zhitomir. Jews who returned here buy houses for themselves and look for houses for their relatives. This has influenced the prices of local flats. According to some observers, in the town of Berdichev, which contains 100000 people, the return of the five Jewish families increased price of a three-room flat by $ 600.

Alexandr Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine

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