Bri­tish aliyah up 25%

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY SI­MON ROCKER

THE NUM­BER of UK Jews who em­i­grated to Is­rael in 2015 rose by al­most 25 per cent on the pre­vi­ous year, mak­ing it the third high­est aliyah fig­ure in a decade.

Ac­cord­ing to the Jewish Agency, 774 Jews left Bri­tain for Is­rael last year, up from 627 in 2014. The fig­ures are pre­lim­i­nary and could be re­vised up­wards.

The olim are pre­dom­i­nantly young, Ortho­dox and well-ed­u­cated, with more than a quar­ter hav­ing at least one univer­sity de­gree.

Rael Good­man, head of the Jewish Agency’s del­e­ga­tion in the UK, said the fig­ure was “a true vote of con­fi­dence in Is­rael”.

Rabbi Daniel Rose­laar, the min­is­ter of Alei Tzion in Hen­don, one of the United Syn­a­gogue’s youngest com­mu­ni­ties, said that many mem­bers of his con­gre­ga­tion were leav­ing for Is­rael.

“Our mem­ber­ship tends to be young and we have a lot of peo­ple with trans­fer­able skills, which mean that they have re­al­is­tic em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in Is­rael. The un­cer­tain se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in Europe and in­creased an­tisemitism is also mo­ti­vat­ing peo­ple’s think­ing, mean­ing that Is­rael is seem­ing less dan­ger­ous than it was some years back,” he said.

World­wide, aliyah last year reached its high­est rate since 2003 with more than 30,0000 di­as­pora Jews mov­ing to Is­rael.

The largest sin­gle na­tional con­tin­gent came from France — around 7,900, com­pared to 7,200 in 2014, a rise of 10 per cent. How­ever, it was well short of the 15,000 pre­dicted by some af­ter the ter­ror at­tacks in Paris last year. Large num­bers also made aliyah from Rus­sia and the Ukraine.

Last year’s Bri­tish fig­ure is well above the an­nual av­er­age of 655 for the decade 2005-2014, and con­sid­er­ably higher than the early years of the new mil­len­nium, when the rate dipped to around 300 a year. But it be­gan to rise again in 2005 and climbed to 853 in 2009 and 786 the fol­low­ing year.

Aliy ah from Bri­tain peaked at around 1,800 shortly af­ter the Six-Day War in 1968 and, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from the In­sti­tute of Jewish Pol­icy Re­search in 2013, av­er­aged around 1,000 a year in the 1960 sto 1980s.

How­ever, for ev­ery two Bri­tish Jews

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