A new report shows that Jewish immigration to Israel from around the world rose more than 40 percent in the first three months of 2015, the UK’s Guardian reported on Sunday.
A total of 6,499 Jews arrived in Israel between January and March of this year, according to an interim report by the Jewish Agency for Israel. The vast majority of immigrants came from Europe, specifically eastern Europe. 1,971 immigrants came from Ukraine to the Jewish state, the most of any country listed, marking a 215 percent rise from the same period last year. The number of Russian immigrants rose to 1,515, an almost 50 percent increase.
French immigration to Israel rose by 11 percent to 1,413 while immigration from Britain saw a 43 percent rise to 166. Immigration from North America decreased by 7 percent with only 478 new arrivals between January and March.
Experts predicted a wave of immigration to Israel in 2015 – specifically from France – following a rise in antisemitic attacks against Jews in recent years across western Europe, the Guardian reported. It was anticipated that a large number of Jews would leave France after the killing of four Jews in January in the HyperCacher kosher supermarket attack in Paris.
In 2014, France was the largest source of immigration to Israel for the first time with 7,000 Jews moving to the Jewish state.