Two thirds of French Jews considering leaving
In light of this story
, it should come as no surprise that two thirds of French Jews are considering leaving
Israel’s Immigration and Absorption Ministry presented its findings to
the Knesset this week that more than two thirds of French Jews are
considering leaving the country. The findings were presented in the
context of an Israeli government effort to increase immigration from
France; however they raise serious concerns that a prolonged exposure to
increasingly virulent forms of anti-Semitism are taking their toll on
the sense of security felt by Jewish communities in France and across
Of the two-thirds considering leaving, half (or one-third overall)
are looking to Israel as their destination. Nearly 60% of French Jews
have close relatives living in Israel.
The past year saw a spike in French
Jewish immigration to Israel, from about 2000 per year during
2008-2012, to over 3,300 in 2013. France is currently home to the third
largest Jewish community in the world, after Israel and the United
States. The majority of immigrants to Israel have been the young – just out of school – and retirees.
In December of last year, the Jewish Agency’s envoy in Paris, Ariel Kandel, observed,
“The French Jews are very Zionist, and that’s not a new thing,” and
that “about 70 percent of them have visited Israel at least once – a
much higher rate than anywhere else.” Kandel also cited the Toulouse
Jewish school shooting, which occurred two years ago this week, as a factor leading to last year’s spike in immigration from France.
Aliya to Israel increased from all over Western Europe
Western Europe as a whole saw a 35% increase in aliyah in 2013, driven
by a 46% increase from Belgium and a 57% increase from the Netherlands. A
poll released in November indicated that a full 75% of self-identifying
Jews in Western European countries have considered emigrating because
I don't know why any Jew would want to live in Europe today.
Labels: aliya, Belgium, European anti-Semitism, French anti-Semitism, Holland