Return of the Exiles

South Africa

Home to one of the world’s most Zionistic Jewish communities, the first South Africans to make Aliyah were a group of 35 individuals in 1906. Since then, groups of South African Jews have consistently returned home, year after year.

With the end of apartheid and the gross mismanagement of the South African economy, many families, elders, and singles have moved to Israel. Families come to find work and to live in a safe and supportive Jewish environment. Elders come to retire and live near their children and grandchildren.

Due to government policies favoring native Africans, young South African Jews often have difficulty gaining admittance to universities and struggle to find jobs – leading many of them to seek a brighter financial and spiritual future in Israel.

As the political, economic, social, and security conditions in South Africa have worsened, record numbers of Jews have been making Aliyah. In 2021, a record 555 South African Jews made Aliyah, the highest per capita migration in South African history. Many more are expected in the coming years.