Rising Number of French Jews Want to Be Buried in Israel

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The number of French Jews reserving cemetery plots in Israel is on the rise, according to a report in the Voice of America. The reasons for the steady rise over the last decade vary, but apparently lack of space in Jewish burial sections in France is the primary motive, with the nicer, sunnier weather a close second.

It is not clear exactly how many end up being buried here since El Al Israel Airlines, which carries the caskets, does not disclose the figures. But undertakers and the Paris Consistory, which represents the Jewish community in France, put the number in the hundreds each year, the report said.

The Jewish community in France is the largest in Europe, and it is already known that French Jews are immigrating to Israel in large numbers.

Funeral homes catering to Jews have been responding to the trend by buying up plots in cemeteries in Israel and then arranging the shipment of bodies, according to Voice of Amerca. It costs more money than burial in France, but for those who wish to be laid to rest in the Holy Land, it is apparently worth it.

The Safed cemetery, viewed from above.Credit: Steven Klein

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