Bucking a noticeable decrease in Jewish immigration to Israel this year, the number of Russian Jews who moved to the Jewish state has reached a 10-year record of 7,000 newcomers.
Overall, some 27,000 people moved to Israel this year under its Law of Return for Jews and their relatives, or made aliyah, according to the Jewish Agency for Israel, compared to 31,000 last year. This constitutes a 13-percent drop in aliyah overall.
Aliyah from France, which in 2014 and 2015 was Israel’s largest single provider of immigrants with 6,658 and 7,468 newcomers respectively, decreased considerably, according to preliminary statistics provided by the Ministry for Immigrant Absorption and by the Jewish Agency.
During the first 10 months of 2016, Israel saw the arrival of 4,214 French Jews and their relatives compared to 6,928 during the corresponding period in 2015, constituting a 39-percent decrease over that period. In October this year, Israel saw 176 olim from France compared to 609 last year.
Aliyah from Ukraine totalled in at 5,500 this year compared to 7,221 in 2015, the Jewish Agency said in a statement Thursday – a 24-percent dip.
The decrease in aliyah from France reflects “a slightly improved feeling of security” by French Jews due to government efforts to curb attacks on Jewish targets by Islamists, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky told JTA earlier this year. Eight people were murdered in two such attacks in France since 2012 and another four were killed in a 2014 shooting in Belgium, which French and Belgian prosecutors attribute to a France-born Islamist who is currently on trial in Brussels. READ MORE