Gadi Pickholz from the Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy Council emails:
The Israeli government official report on Aliya was issued today for 2008. 2008 marked the lowest level of Aliya in Israeli history since 1948, with less than 5% the Olim as in 1990, and less than 15% the Olim for the average of the years 1992-2000 inclusive.
In total, only 13,681 persons made Aliya worldwide, 41% from Russia.
Only 20% of Olim were minors, with 15% Senior Citizens. European Olim in particular came for retirement rather than during years of careers or youth, averaging an age more than 7 years older than American, Australian, Russian and "other".
Women Olim outnumbered men significantly, with only 880 men per 1000 women.
It is interesting to note the significant discrepancy between the official report and the PR machine of American Jewish philanthropy and media. Aliya seems yet another case of the complete disconnect between the reality of Israel and the American need to see an Israel desired and Zionism idealized, preferably from the comfort and safety Beverly Hills or Great Neck.