Itongadol.- Hundreds of French Jews are attending a Jewish Agency for Israel Aliyah (immigration to Israel) information fair taking place today (Sunday, January 11) under tight security in central Paris. The fair had been planned in advance of the past week\’s tragic events.
Hundreds of French Jews Attend Jewish Agency Aliyah Fair in Central Paris
Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky, who accompanied Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Paris, attended the information fair and said: "The Jewish Agency embraces the French Jewish community at this difficult time and is extending its full support by helping provide for the physical security of Jewish communities across France, increasing our assistance to any individual who wishes to immigrate to Israel, and working to ease immigrants\’ integration into the Israeli workforce and Israeli society."
According to The Jewish Agency\’s figures, 2014 saw a dramatic increase in Aliyah from France with the arrival of 7,000 new immigrants, more than double the 3,400 who arrived in 2013 and triple the 1,900 who came in 2012. The French Jewish community is the largest in Europe and the third-largest in the world (after Israel and the United States), with some 500,000 Jews. More than 1% of the entire community immigrated to Israel over the course of 2014, which saw the arrival of the largest number of French immigrants in Israel\’s history and was the first time more immigrants came from France than from any other country. Even before the most recent events, Jewish Agency officials had predicted that the increase in French Aliyah would continue and that the number of immigrants from France would reach 10,000 in 2015.
In light of the recent increase in French Aliyah, The Jewish Agency has been working closely with the Israel Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption to ease the immigration and absorption process as well as to enable thousands of French Jewish young people to visit and experience life in Israel via Jewish Agency programs.
At the same time, The Jewish Agency is playing an active role in providing for the physical security of Jewish communities across France. The Fund for Emergency Assistance to Jewish Communities, which was established following the attack against the Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012, has provided Jewish communal institutions in France and elsewhere with the means to install and reinforce security measures where they are most needed, in order to enable Jewish communal life to continue uninterrupted.