Aliyah from Western Europe highest ever

January 15, 2016  

The Jewish Agency revealed on Thursday that the number of Jews who made Aliyah to Israel from Western Europe has reached an all-time high.

According to the figures, 9,880 Western European Jews immigrated to Israel in 2015 – the highest number ever recorded.

The agency believes these high numbers are an outcome of increased anti-Semitic attacks.

The vast majority of Western European Olim, nearly 8,000, came from France where a rise in anti-Semitism has reduced the Jewish population’s sense of security.

Just this week, a machete-wielding teen attacked a Jewish teacher in the town of Marseille, sparking a debate among France’s Jewish community over whether men and boys should stop wearing a kippah.

Moreover, the Jewish Agency revealed that the nearly 800 Jews who made Aliyah from the United Kingdom in 2015 rose by almost 25% compared to the previous year, making it the third highest Aliyah figure in a decade.

In response to the security threats, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said, “the record numbers of European Jews that feel that Europe is no longer their home should alarm European leaders and serve as a wake-up call for all who are concerned about the future of Europe.”

“At the same time,” added Sharansky, “the fact that Israel has become the number one destination for European Jews seeking to build a better future elsewhere is a tribute to the appeal of life in Israel and the values the Jewish state represents.” 

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