Italian Emigration to Israel Expected to Double in 2014

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New French immigrants to Israel arrive at Ben-Gurion International Airport, July 25 2007. Credit: Eyal Warshavsky / BauBau

An estimated 300 Italian Jews are expected to emigrate to Israel in 2014, the Italo-Israeli demographer Sergio Della Pergola told the Italian news agency ANSA on Friday, marking an upsurge in Italian aliyah.

The Jewish Agency affirmed to JTA that the figure was accurate.

Some 152 Jews made aliyah from Italy in 2013, according to the Jewish Agency.Due to Italy's economic situation, Italian Jews have the feeling that "they can lead a better life in Israel."

Several Italian Jewish leaders said the economic situation, including the difficulty for young people to find jobs, figured strongly in the aliyah increase, with Jews feeling that “they can lead a better life in Israel.” They said the economic crisis hit the Jewish community in Rome particularly hard — many of the city’s 12,000 or so Jews are shopkeepers or run small businesses.

Italy’s overall jobless rate tops 12 percent; for young people the figure is more than 40 percent.

The Italian Jewish community has about 24,000 registered members.

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