An aliyah fair was held in Paris on Sunday organized by the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, and the Jewish Agency for Israel, in cooperation with Ofek Israeli. Additional such fairs, in cities including Lyon and Marseilles, are planned over the course of the next three months to meet the growing interest in immigration to Israel since Oct. 7.
According to the data collected by the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, since the surprise terror attacks by Hamas in southern Israel and the outbreak of the Israel Defense Force’s “Operation Irons Iron Swords,” there has been a 430% increase in the number of aliyah files opened in France. Altogether, files have been opened for about 1,200 people since Oct. 7, compared to about 220 in the corresponding period last year.
At the Dec. 17 fair in Paris, Minister of Aliyah and Integration Ofir Sofer said he heard from many that video and photos of the attacks prompted their interest.
“The feelings of solidarity and identification with Israel were a driving force in the decision to make aliyah. Communities around the world and France, in particular, are facing a significant increase in antisemitic incidents,” he said. “We will stand by the communities, and at the same time, we will certainly support the processes of integrating them into Israeli society even more. The State of Israel is the home of the Jewish people.”
More than 1,300 households have also participated in informational evenings organized by the Jewish Agency throughout France, where up-to-date information is provided about employment, schools, Hebrew study and other assistance in getting acclimated to life in Israel.
The Jewish community in France is the third largest in the world after Israel and the United States, numbering about 450,000. It is a traditional and Zionist community with close ties to the State of Israel, and many of its members have relatives in Israel having moved there during other periods of unrest.
Jewish Agency chairman Maj. Gen. (res.) Doron Almog said: “French Jews continue to express their unconditional love for the State of Israel in these difficult days. We all have the obligation and duty to welcome them now with open arms and help them realize their dream of establishing their home in Israel. Aliyah is a cornerstone in the rebuilding and restoration of the country.”