- Derived from the Hebrew word for ascent or going up. The immigration of Jews from the Diaspora to the Holy Land (Palestine and, later, Israel). Jewish immigration to and settlement in the land of Israel is a central concept in Zionist ideology, and the "ingathering of the exiles" was the primary objective of the Zionist Movement. However, even before the founding of the Zionist Movement, there was immigration to Eretz Israel. Throughout Jewish history prior to the modern political Zionist Movement, small numbers of Jews had always migrated to the Holy Land in keeping with the Jewish religion's concept that to live and die in the Holy Land was an important precept. Over the centuries, Jews migrated to Eretz Israel and lived in the four holy cities: Jerusalem, Safed, Tiberias, and Hebron. With the practical and political Zionism of the 19th century, beginning in the 1880s, the numbers of Jewish immigrants to Palestine grew dramatically, but they also varied in number, depending on practical conditions both in their countries of origin and in Palestine (and later Israel).Immigration to Palestine traditionally has been divided into five major phases or aliyot (waves of immigration) between the 1880s and World War II. During the First Aliya (1882-1903), some 20,000 to 30,000 individuals immigrated to Palestine, primarily in groups organized by the Hoveve Zion and Bilu Movements in Russia and Romania. Some arrived on their own, mostly from Galicia. The Second Aliya (1904-14) involved some 35,000 to 40,000 young pioneers, mostly from Russia. In the Third Aliya (1919-23), some 35,000 young pioneers immigrated to Palestine from Russia, Poland, and Romania. The Fourth Aliya (1924-31) involved mainly middle-class immigrants from Poland, numbering some 88,000. The Fifth Aliya (1932-38) consisted of some 215,000 immigrants, mainly from central Europe. During World War II (1939-45), immigration to Palestine continued both legally and illegally (Aliya Bet) and totaled some 82,000. After World War II (1945) until the independence of Israel in May 1948, there were severe British mandatory restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine, but still some 57,000 Jews arrived. After Israeli independence, the flow of immigrants to Palestine grew dramatically, as Israel allowed free immigration and whole communities opted to move to the Holy Land. Beginning in 1989, large-scale immigration brought to Israel some 750,000 Jews from the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Ethiopia.
Historical Dictionary of Israel. Bernard Reich David H. Goldberg. Edited by Jon Woronoff..
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aliya — noun see aliyah … New Collegiate Dictionary
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