Return of the Exiles
Though the majority of American Jews rallied to the Zionist cause upon the establishment of the State of Israel, the first major wave of American Aliyah only took place in the aftermath of the Six-Day War in 1967, when Israel dramaitcally gained control of the Temple Mount, Judea and Samaria.
This surge quickly petered off after the morale-breaking 1973 Yom Kippur War, and didn’t restart until the early 2000’s. This new surge in Aliyah was facilitated through a non-profit organization called Nefesh B’Nefesh.
The founders of Nefesh B’Nefesh found a way to promote Aliyah to the new generation of mostly religious singles and young families. They simplified the Israeli bureaucratic process, provided financial and employment support, and chartered airplanes to Israel. Nefesh B’Nefesh has begun a true Aliyah revolution.
Most Americans who have moved to Israel in the last 20 years are highly educated, deeply motivated religious Jews who have chosen to fulfill God’s command to build up the Land of Israel.
With a strong high-tech sector and a skills and innovation-based economy, Israel is more attractive to American Jews than ever. Also, digital communications now allow American Jews to locate or run their business from the Promised Land.
A recent study assessed the value of the positive impact of 18,000 North American immigrants on the Israeli economy between 2002-2008 at over a billion shekels. It’s probably up to 10 billion (or maybe even more) shekels today.