Global aliya figure reaches 30,000
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                  World Jewish News

                  Global aliya figure reaches 30,000

                  Global aliya figure reaches 30,000

                  25.12.2015, Repatriation

                  Immigration to Israel from France hit a all-time record in 2015 with around 8,000 French Jews expected to have arrived over the course of the year, a rise of 10 % in comparison with 2014, the Jewish Agency for Israel announced.

                  Final data for 2015 was not available yet.

                  France's Jewish community is estimated at between 500,000 and 600,000 people, the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world.

                  According to the Jewish agency, the growth is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

                  "Each has his or her reason, including the economic crisis, personal security, terrorist attacks, and, in some places and times, an anti-Jewish mood," agency spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

                  In January, after four Jews were murdered in an attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an invitation to French and European Jews to emigrate.

                  "Strong and longstanding ties between French Jewry and the Jewish state and the sense that Israel will afford them opportunities for a brighter future" led them to choose Israel, the agency said.

                  Global immigration to Israel in 2015 was expected to hit a 15-year high with 30,000 arrivals, the Jewish Agency said. In 2014, the figure was 26,500.

                  Of these, 7,300 were projected to arrive from Ukraine, 7,100 from Russia and Belarus, and another 3,500 from North America, it said.

                  According to Yigal Palmor, a high number of arrivals from economically troubled Russia and civil war-torn Ukraine According to data from the Ministry of Absorption, Ukrainian aliyah, largely driven by a Russian-backed civil war and concomitant economic malaise, rose by eleven percent. As of mid-December 6953 Ukrainians have arrived, up from 5921 last year.

                  The country has an estimated population of 8.4 million, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported in September, of which some 75 percent are Jews.

                  by Maud Swinnen