Based on the current pace, the number of French Jews making aliyah could top 7,000 this year
Despite a rise of 7 % of the immigration to Israel from North America, aliyah from France to Israel this year will be more than double that from the United States, according to figures from the Jewish Agency for Israel in Jerusalem.
Based on the current pace, the number of French Jews making aliyah could top 7,000 this year.
6,655 Jews arrived from France to Israel in the first 11 months of 2014, an all-time record, compared with only 3,225 from North America (US and Canada).
The previous record from France was set in 2013, with 3,293 French newcomers.
Immigration in the first 11 months of 2014 from France, which has a Jewish community of 500,000-600,000 was more than double the 3,191 people who came to Israel during the whole of 2013 from North America, where over 6 million Jews live. The figure from North America for this year so far is 3,225.
Immigration from France also surpassed by a large margin the 5,105 migrants who came to Israel from Ukraine, a country with an ailing economy due to ongoing and deadly fighting between government troops and pro-Russian rebels.
Immigration to Israel from France is driven by growing anti-Semitism in the country and economic considerations, but also by French Jewry’s deep attachment to Israel, Zionism and Judaism.
Increase in Aliyah also was observed in Britain, where the first 11 months of 2014 yielded 573 immigrants compared to 523 during the whole of 2013.
Immigration from Italy, which totaled 151 last year, doubled this year. Aliyah from South Africa and Australia, which this year totaled 158 and 171 respectively, dropped by 23% and 36% from the 2013 totals.
by Joseph Byron