Surge in Is­raelis mov­ing to UK

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

THE MOST ex­ten­sive sur­vey car­ried out on Is­raelis liv­ing in Bri­tain has put their num­ber at around 25,000.

Al­though con­sid­er­ably lower than the claims of­ten made for the ex­pa­tri­ate Is­raeli pop­u­la­tion, the fig­ure is based on “the most re­li­able count we have had”, said Dr Jonathan Boyd, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute for Jewish Pol­icy Re­search (JPR).

There were 23,221 Is­raelis in Bri­tain, ac­cord­ing to re­turns from the 2011 UK Cen­sus. Once the fig­ure is ad­justed to take ac­count of an es­ti­mated num­ber who did not fill in the Cen­sus form, that would bring the to­tal to 25,744, JPR said

They have also been ar­riv­ing in greater num­bers in re­cent years. For ev­ery two Bri­tish Jews who made aliyah from 2001 to 2011, three Is­raelis came to the UK.

While the num­ber of Is­raelis in the UK re­mained steady be­tween 1991 and 2001, they had in­creased by nearly half (48 per cent) in 2011.

An av­er­age of 865 Is­raelis have come here an­nu­ally since 2001. The av­er­age num­ber of Bri­tish Jews mov­ing in the op­po­site di­rec­tion each year was 582.

The Is­raeli new­com­ers are gen­er­ally in their 20s and 30s, highly ed­u­cated and of­ten mar­ried.

Just un­der three-quar­ters — 73 per cent — are Jewish, though a few iden­tify as eth­nic rather than re­li­gious Jews.

Mem­bers of the Is­raeli Salon in Lon­don, which runs ac­tiv­i­ties to help more than 400 Is­raelis to set­tle in the UK

Nine per cent have an­other re­li­gion, mostly Chris­tian, and 16 per cent said they had “no re­li­gion”, al­though the fact that many live in ar­eas of Jewish pop­u­la­tion, such as Bar­net in north­west Lon­don, sug­gests they are prob­a­bly of Jewish ori­gin.

They bring a “po­ten­tial in­jec­tion of vi­brancy and growth” into the Bri­tish Jewish com­mu­nity, Dr Boyd said.

Nearly one in five — 19 per cent — are Charedi.

Nearly two in five — 39 per cent — of UK Is­raelis have been set­tled here for more than 20 years. Just over 11 per cent have been here for up to a year, and a fur­ther 16 per cent for one to five years, al­though there is no data for those plan­ning only to work here for a few years.

Is­raelis are gen­er­ally more sec­u­lar and less likely to be syn­a­gogue mem­bers than na­tive Bri­tish Jews, ac­cord­ing to data from JPR’s own communal sur­vey of 2013.

But 53 per cent of the Is­raelis with chil­dren send them to Jewish schools — al­most the same pro­por­tion as recorded by JPR for Bri­tish Jews.

Spec­u­lat­ing on what is be­hind the im­mi­gra­tion, Dr David Gra­ham, the au­thor of the re­port, Bri­tain’s Is­raeli Di­as­pora, noted that only nine per cent of those who were born in Is­rael and mar­ried had an Is­raeli-born part­ner.

That sug­gested, he said, that “most are part­nered to Brits. In other words, a sig­nif­i­cant amount of in­ter­na­tional mix­ing and match­ing may be the key mi­gra­tory driver, fol­lowed by an in­tri­cate mix of eco­nomic, se­cu­rity and life­style con­sid­er­a­tions, which to­gether are cur­rently com­bin­ing to tip the mi­gra­tion bal­ance away from Is­rael and to­wards Bri­tain.”

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