Massive increase in number of French Jews immigrating to Israel

Applications for aliyah to Israel up 450% since October 7th.

By Ben Cohen, The Algemeiner

A hefty increase in the number of prospective Jewish immigrants from France to Israel has been recorded over the last week, the Jewish Agency for Israel reported on Monday.

Following a series of fairs last week in Paris, Marseille and Lyon promoting aliyah — “immigration” — to Israel, the agency, which has historically been in charge of the absorption process, revealed that the number of applications had risen by 450 percent in the weeks since the Oct. 7 pogrom carried out by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel.

The total number of immigrants heading to Israel from France is 1,200, compared with 220 at the same point last year. Additionally, 1,300 families participated in information evenings organized by the Jewish Agency across the country.

“In these difficult days, French Jews continue to express their unconditional love for the State of Israel,” Doron Almog — the president of the Jewish Agency — said in a statement. “It is our right and our duty to welcome the olim (‘immigrants’) with open arms and support them in the realization of their dream to settle in Israel.”

The Israeli Minister of Aliyah and Integration, Ofir Sofer, said after attending the Jewish Agency fair in Paris that he had been “very happy to meet future olim who made the decision to immigrate to Israel immediately after Oct. 7 while the country is at war.”

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Sofer remarked that “their main motivation for immigrating lies in their feelings of solidarity and identification with Israel. Jewish communities around the world, and in France in particular, are facing a significant increase in antisemitic acts. We stand by them and will contribute even more to the integration of the new olim. The State of Israel remains the homeland of the Jewish people.”

Nearly 70,000 Jews out of a community of approximately 500,000 have made aliyah from France to Israel since 2000, amid a steady rise in antisemitic acts and invective.

Pro-Hamas demonstrators attempted to disrupt the Jewish Agency fair in Marseille last Monday. Police arrested six individuals after blows were exchanged at the entrance to the fair. More than 1,500 antisemitic acts have been reported in France since the Oct. 7 Hamas atrocities.