Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky meets with French-language service representatives at the agency’s Global Service Center..
(photo credit: JAFI)
The Jewish Agency expanded its Jerusalem call center on Wednesday, moving it to new premises in its Kiryat Moriah educational campus in the East Talpiot neighborhood.
The Global Service Center fields calls from thousands of potential immigrants from around the world as well as offering aliya counseling to those already in Israel. Its English-, French-, Russian-, Spanish-, Portuguese-, Amharic- and Hebrew-speaking representatives received almost 200,000 calls and more than 600 walk-ins last year, the agency said.
The Jewish Agency recently announced that it would double the number of French speakers employed in its Israeli call center and increase the number of emissaries in France. The call center received nearly 20,000 calls from Francophones in the first three months of 2014, marking a 264 percent increase over the same period last year, an agency spokesman said.
A total of “1,134 French Jews made aliya during the first quarter of the year, a 320% increase compared to the first quarter of 2013, when 353 Jews immigrated to Israel from France. In all, 2013 saw some 3,280 French Jews make aliya, compared to 1,917 in 2012. This 70% increase is attributed to the economic situation in France, to anti-Semitic incidents that undermine the Jewish community’s sense of security, and to increased efforts by the Jewish Agency to expose French Jews to opportunities for life in Israel,” the spokesman said.