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40% rise in Jewish immigration to Israel attributed to surge from Ukraine and Russia

Monday, 11 May 2015

Altogether 6,499 Jews arrived in Israel between January and March. The vast majority came from Europe, but the only substantial increase came from Eastern Europe with numbers from Western Europe remaining steady.

According to the Guardian, it is Ukrainians and Russians that account for the rise in Jewish immigration.

Ukraine tops the country list, with 1,971 Ukrainians coming to Israel, marking a 215 percent rise from the same period last year. 1,515 people from Russia immigrated to Israel, which represents an almost 50 percent increase. A wave of Jewish immigration to Israel in 2015 from Western Europe, and specifically from France, was predicted following anti-Semitic attacks in recent years. In January four Jews were killed in a supermarket attack in Paris. However, between January and March, the number of Jewish immigrants from France rose by 11% to 1,413.

Although anti-Semitism is a contributing factor, the rise is largely attributed to the economic hardship in France and is in line with the gradual increase in immigration from France over the past four years. In 2014, France was the largest source of immigration to Israel for the first time with 7,000 Jews moving to the Jewish state.

Jewish immigration from Britain rose 43 percent, but according to the Guardian the number of people who moved was only 166. With 300,000 Jews living in the United Kingdom, this is not a statistically significant number. The Jewish Agency for Israel report shows that immigration from North America decreased by 7%, with only 478 immigrants to Israel in the first three months of this year.

Source: World Religion News

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