French Aliyah Hits 35-Year High

A wave of aliyah (immigration) from France will bring 3,300 Jews to Israel by the end of this year, the highest since 1970, according to the Jewish Agency.<BR><br/>

Israel National News Staff, | updated: 23:13

Two planeloads of olim (new immigrants) are scheduled to arrive next Monday, the agency's Immigration and Absorption director Mike Rosenberg said. Aliyah from France was up by 30 percent for the first six months of this year, he added, and 900 will have arrived by the end of this month.

Monday afternoon's arrivals at Ben Gurion Airport will mark the first time two planes of French olim have come in one day. Aryeh Azoulay, chairman of the Jewish Agency's immigration committee, and Mirale Gel, director general of the Absorption Ministry, will greet the new arrivals

The new immigrants are to include 100 children and 70 students who will be going directly into preparatory programs at Tel Aviv, Bar Ilan University and the Hebrew Universities. Seventy percent of the new families will be absorbed in the framework of “community absorption” in Bet Shemesh, Eilat, Netanya, Ashdod, Jerusalem, and Ashkelon.

Twenty percent of the new French immigrants are students who have passed their matriculation exams and will continue their academic studies in Israel. More than half of the new immigrants are single, and 45% come as families. Most of the new immigrants arrive through direct absorption and prefer the center of the country.