Jewish Immigration to Israel From Western Europe Reaches All-time High

The Jewish Agency said Thursday that 9,880 Western European Jews immigrated to Israel in 2015 - the highest number ever.

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A French family, making aliyah (immigration to Israel), are welcomed by Israelis waving national flags upon their arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport, Dec. 8, 2015.
A French family, making aliyah (immigration to Israel), are welcomed by Israelis waving national flags upon their arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport, Dec. 8, 2015.Credit: AFP

Jewish immigration to Israel from Western Europe has reached an all-time high, spawned by a rise in anti-Semitic attacks.

The Jewish Agency said Thursday that 9,880 Western European Jews immigrated to Israel in 2015 - the highest number ever.

The vast majority, close to 8,000, came from France where a rise in anti-Semitic attacks has shattered the sense of security of the world's third-largest Jewish population.

This week, a machete-wielding teen attacked a Jewish teacher in the French town of Marseille, prompting a local Jewish authority to ask fellow Jews to refrain from wearing their traditional skull caps to stay safe.

France recently marked the anniversary of the attacks on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery store that killed 17 people.

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