France is Israel’s Largest Source of Aliyah for Second Straight Year

For the second consecutive year, France is the largest provider of Jewish immigrants to Israel with a record total of 7,328 newcomers in 2015.

The number of French citizens who immigrated to Israel under its law of return for Jews, or made aliyah, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 1 constituted a 10 percent increase over the 6,661 French olim who came during the corresponding period last year, according to Jewish Agency for Israel figures obtained Tuesday by JTA. In all of 2014, a total of 7,238 olim came from France.

Last year’s total, which was the highest since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, was surpassed last month with the arrival of 468 French Jews. According to the Jewish Agency, French aliyah has increased because of a mix of factors, including the community’s fear of anti-Semitic attacks, economic stagnation in France and its members’ attachment to Israel.

The most dramatic increase in aliyah this year came from Russia, which provided more than 6,000 olim in the first 11 months of 2015 — some 44 percent over the 4,458 who came in the corresponding period last year. In total, slightly more than 5,000 came from Russia last year.

Russian aliyah increased following a financial crisis last year that halved the ruble’s value against the dollar and amid lingering concerns among Russian Jews over rising nationalism and undemocratic practices, according to Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky.

Aliyah from Ukraine, which is also suffering from a financial recession following a bloody revolution last year and the secession of two pro-Russian eastern enclaves, increased to 6,848 people this year compared to the 6,149 who came in all of 2014.

The United States has provided Israel with 2,730 olim this year compared to 2,940 in the corresponding period last year.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires 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 and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. 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 Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

France is Israel’s Largest Source of Aliyah for Second Straight Year

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close