British aliyah up 25%
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