Israel Hopes To Lure More French Jews

Recognizing Qualifications Key To Attracting Professionals

Plan To Leave: More French Jews are considering emigration — but few choose Israel.
getty images
Plan To Leave: More French Jews are considering emigration — but few choose Israel.

By JTA

Published December 27, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israel is set to announce a three-year plan aimed at attracting more French Jews to settle in the Jewish state.

The first move will consist of recognizing French diplomas for medical professionals and tax consultants, an official from Israel’s Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs told the Ma’ariv daily this week. The government has decided in principle to increase funding for facilitating the arrival of new immigrants from France, said the official, who was not named.

“The government has realized this is a historic window of opportunity,” said the official.

More than 3,000 French Jews will have moved to Israel by year’s end, an annual tally reached only four times in the past, most recently in 2005. The causes for the surge are said to be the community’s deep attachment to Israel, rising anti-Semitism and the financial crisis gripping French economy.

Currently, Israel does not recognize a host of French diplomas, including those of optometrists, opticians, physiotherapists and tax consultants.

“This is a stumbling block to aliyah,” Ariel Kandel, the Jewish Agency for Israel’s chief of operations in France, told JTA earlier this month. “As it stands now, I need to advise people in those professions not to come.”

In addition to recognizing more diplomas from France, the ministry plans to offer special assistance for French Jews with job placement, housing and education needs for children, Ma’ariv reported.

Many French Jews who want to emigrate choose Britain, Canada or the United States over Israel, according to the ministry, which estimates that Israel has the potential of attracting 42,000 French Jewish immigrants by 2017.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.