World Jewish News
Aliyah of Jews from France to Israel rose 49% since beginning of 2013
2,185 Jews from France immigrated to Israel during the first nine months of 2013, a rise of 49 % compared to the same period of 2012 when 1469 French Jews made aliyah, figures released by the Jewish Agency for Israel show.
This increase is particularly significant because at the same time immigration worlwide under the Law of Return worldwide showed an increase of only 1 percent during the first nine months of 2013. In total, 13,905 people immigrated, according to the Jewish Agency.
Jewish immigration from North America has dropped by 8 percent, to 2,524 new arrivals in 2013 from the 2,737 who came in January-September 2012.
Of the immigrants to Israel this year, 3,188 Jews arrived from Western Europe — a 26 percent increase from the same period last year.
Responding to the feeling of insecurity expressed by Jews in France, French President François Hollande reiterated during his recent state visit to Israel 's his commitment to ensure the safety and integrity of the Jews of France.
France ‘’will fight with all his strength anti-Semitism in all its forms," he stated in a speech to the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament.
At a ceremony in Paris to celebrate the departure to Israel of some 800 Jews from France, last July, Pierre Besnainou, founder of the Association AMI for ‘’Aliyah and better integration’’, warned that aliyah ‘’is not an emergency exit and fear of anti-Semitism should not be a motivation for the Jews of France to settle in Israel .''
The Jewish community in France is the largest in Europe with an estimated 500-600,000 people. Since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, more than 90,000 Jews left France to Israel.
According to the results of an opinion poll conducted by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) of the Jewish population in eight countries of the European Union, 85% of French Jews believe that anti-Semitism is a problem in their country, against 66% at European level.
They are 88% to denounce the rise of anti-Semitism in the last five years against 76 % in the rest of the continent . And 46% of them even think to emigrate because they no longer feel safe at home, against 29 % elsewhere.
The shock that followed the massacre in the Jewish school Ozar Hatorah in Toulouse in March 2012 has undoubtedly strengthened the feeling of insecurity among many Jews of France .
"The FRA study only confirms what I felt in recent years,’’ said Roger Cukierman, president of CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish organizations.
He said most French Jewish parents enroll their children in private schools because of anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism “affects Jewish families very seriously and is the main reason there are so few Jewish children in public schools,” Cukierman told this week a symposium on anti-Semitism organized at the European Parliament. “Most of them go to Jewish or Christian private schools.”