French Aliyah Soared in 2013

YERUSHALAYIM -

The number of Jews emigrating to Israel from France soared in 2013, reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

A rise of almost 50 percent was recorded in the first nine months of 2013 compared to last year.

Experts on the French Jewish community attribute the demographic change to financial reasons since the 2008 financial crisis, and an upswing in anti-Semitic violence since 2009 and after the second intifada in the early 2000s.

Through September, 2,185 French Jews have immigrated to Israel, compared to 1,469 immigrants during the same time period in 2012, according to Jewish Agency data. The number of immigrants who arrived from in Israel from France during the whole of 2012 was 1,907.

On average, Jewish immigration to Israel from the rest of the world increased by only 1 percent during the same time period. All told, 13,905 people came to live in Israel this year, the Jewish Agency said.

On the other hand, Jewish immigration from North America has dropped by 8 percent, to 2,524 new arrivals in 2013 from the 2,737 who came in January-September 2012.

Of the immigrants to Israel this year, 3,188 Jews arrived from Western Europe — a 26 percent increase from the same period last year.