Poll: 43% of French Jews interested in aliya

More than 7,900 French Jews made aliya in 2015, up 10% from the previous year, when the western European nation became the leading source of immigrants here with 7,000 olim.

January 20, 2016 05:02
2 minute read.

A new immigrant at Ben-Gurion airport kisses the tarmac as he makes aliya. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

More than 40 percent of French Jews are interested in making aliya to Israel, according to a new poll released this week.

Pollsters at the Institut français d’opinion publique spoke with more than 700 self-declared Jews, asking them about their preferences regarding a range of issues.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Among the findings: 43% are thinking, or have thought about, immigration to the Jewish state.

Given France’s approximately 700,000 Jews, that means that around 200,000 people are mulling aliya.

The same percentage of respondents also reported having thought about moving to Great Britain, Canada and the United States, although it is quite possible that there is significant overlap between the two groups.

Additionally, 59% of those queried indicated that they know somebody who has emigrated from France.

Anti-Semitism and a worsening economy have driven many French Jews to seek their fortunes abroad, with significant communities forming in Montreal, London and other cities.

Speaking with The Jerusalem Post last year, Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky stated that around 50,000 French Jews asked for information about immigrating in 2014.

More than 7,900 French Jews made aliya in 2015, up 10% from the previous year, when the western European nation became the leading source of immigrants here with 7,000 olim, more than twice the number from 2013.

However, while French aliya has surged dramatically in recent years, barriers to integration for Francophone immigrants have remained an issue for many, with such topics as the non-compatibility of French and Israeli degrees considered a deal breaker for many.

Lawmakers gathered in the Knesset to discuss this issue earlier this month, with Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee chair MK Dr. Avraham Neguise calling for the removal of such obstacles.

According to the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency, “49% of French Jews investigated emigration in 2012,” Dr.

Dov Maimon, a Francophone researcher at the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Institute told the Post on Tuesday.

“The situation hasn’t improved since, as you know,” he added, calling the IFOP survey unsurprising.

“The difference between religious and non-religious is very strong on the subject of emigration,” he continued. “69% of religiously observant Jews want to come to Israel. Only 29% of non-observant Jews” have expressed such an intent.

“The motivations for aliya are now mainly economic or family,” with “Zionism or religious reasons” being expressed as a factor impelling emigration by only around 30% of those looking to move, he said.

While the results do tend to fit in with previous research on the topic, Maimon expressed some reservations about the survey, stating that Jewish women and the ultra-Orthodox were underrepresented, skewing the findings.

Despite this, he said that the findings do “indicate and confirm the high potential opportunity for Israel to get for the first time in Zionism history an aliya wave from a developed country. To channel this emigration wave to Israel, a strategy has to be implemented providing no-cost legal modifications to allow French olim to work in their profession in Israel with an attractive package of benefits.”

Related Content

The BDS movement seeks to destroy Israel’s image in the eyes of the world.’
August 19, 2018
Corbyn was filmed endorsing BDS in 2015