430 French Jews just moved to Israel despite rocket fire from Gaza


Natan Sharansky, head of the Jewish Agency: ‘People question whether there is a future for Jews in France, but no one doubts that there is a future for French Jews in Israel.’

A group of 430 French Jews plan to move to Ashkelon & Ashdod.

By Yori Yalon


Ongoing rocket fire on Israel did not deter a group of 430 new immigrants from France who landed in Israel Wednesday on two special flights organized by the Jewish Agency and the Immigrant Absorption Ministry. Some even intend to move to the south of the country.

Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver and Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky welcome the new arrivals – Photo: David Salem

Most of the new French immigrants are families, including 18 babies. About 100 of the group plan to live in central Israel, around 60 plan to make their homes in Ashdod and Ashkelon in southern Israel, about 130 are heading for Netanya — a city with a large French population — and a few dozen more plan to move to Jerusalem.

Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver, Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky, and Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Harel Locker welcomed the newcomers at Ben-Gurion International Airport.

On Thursday, a special information event was planned for the immigrants in Jerusalem that was scheduled to end with a special ceremony in which they would receive their Israeli identity cards.

This year has brought a sharp rise in the number of French Jews immigrating to Israel. Numbers from the Immigrant Absorption Ministry and the Jewish Agency indicate that about 5,000 French Jews are expected to move to Israel by the end of the year. In 2013, 3,289 French Jews immigrated to Israel, compared to 1,917 in 2012.

Landver, who met with the immigrants in Paris two weeks ago, told them that she had met “entire families who had Zionism in their blood, who were ready to leave their lives to fulfill a dream and move to Israel.”

Sharansky stressed that “despite the rocket attacks on the citizens of Israel, no French Jew has canceled his aliyah. The question is being asked more and more frequently whether there is a future for Jews in France, but no one doubts that there is a future for French Jews in Israel.”


View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=18849