In JPPI’s 2019 Annual Assessment, we unveiled our Israel Visit Index. As mentioned, the question of visits to Israel serves as an approximation of the feeling of attachment between Israel and the Diaspora. The underlying assumption is that the higher the sense of attachment, the greater the desire to choose Israel as a travel destination and to visit at least once in one’s life. One of the profound changes hitting the Jewish world during this coronavirus period is the almost total cessation of visits by Jews to Israel.
For most countries, there can be no updates to the index readings as no surveys have been published showing changes since last year’s data were presented. The exception is the Jewish community of South Africa, on which two studies were published in the last year. One, from November 2019, on the Cape Town community,16 and the other, published in March 2020, on South African Jews in general.17 According to the data, a large majority of South African Jews have visited Israel at least once (89 percent). Twenty-one percent of Johannesburg respondents have visited Israel more than ten times, compared to 15 percent in Cape Town and 10 percent in Durban.