Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Israel Prepares for Dramatic Increase in Aliyah from French Jews

The funeral procession of Yoav Hattab, the 21-year old who returned from Birthright days before he was ruthlessly murdered in the terror attack on the Jewish community of France at the Hyper Kacher kosher market.

Well before last week’s tragic events that rocked the French community, and communities around the world, aliyah (immigration) to Israel from France had been at its highest rate due to rising anti-Semitism throughout the country. According to a statement made by Ariel Kandel, the Jewish Agency’s Senior Shaliach of France, the rise in aliyah from the Jews of France is at the highest rate since the establishment of the state of Israel!

Federation’s partners at the Jewish Agency told NBC News that 7,000 people moved to Israel from France last year – double the amount of French Jews who made aliyah in 2013. Prior to the attack on the French Jewish community at the kosher supermarket, the Jewish Agency estimated that 10,000 more would make aliyah in 2015. However, that number is now being revised and is anticipated to be much higher after last week’s horrific attacks.

In a statement to NBC News, Avi Meyer of the Jewish Agency said, “A lot of people thought it was only a matter of time for something like this to happen.” Meyer also mentioned that, “There’s a sense among many French Jews that it’s simply unsafe to identify openly as a Jew in the streets of France.” Meyer then went on to discuss the great increase in phone calls that the Jewish Agency has been receiving since the catastrophic events that occurred at the kosher supermarket last week, describing the incoming phone calls as “literally doubled”.

This week, hundreds of French Jews attended a Jewish Agency aliyah fair in central Paris on Sunday, January 11th, directly following the terror attacks. In light of the recent and anticipated increase in French aliyah, the Jewish Agency is working directly with the Israel Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption centers to ease the entire process, allowing thousands of French Jews to relocate and visit the country through Jewish Agency programs.

What can you do? Help us help them. Your continued support of Federation allows for the allocation of funds to partner organizations such as the Jewish Agency, which directly assists not only French Jews in need, but all Jews in need around the world!

Please consider making a donation to the Jewish Federation of San Diego County’s France Emergency Relief Fund. One hundred percent of emergency relief funds will go towards increased security measures at Jewish schools, organizations, and institutions in France as well as humanitarian aid for families directly impacted by these tragic events.

Thank you for your generosity and for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our Jewish family in France!

To read the full NBC News article click here.

To read the Jewish Agency Article published on October 28th click here.

To read full Jewish Agency article about French Jews attending an aliyah fair click here.

To read the Federation’s blog post originally published on December 12th, about French Jews receiving self-defense certifications upon aliyah click here.

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