Jewish Agency reports 20% rise in British moves to Israel

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Jewish Agency reports 20% rise in British moves to Israel

IFCJ -flight from ukraine22-12-14-2

A 20 percent increase in British immigrants to Israel and a huge rise in the number of French and Ukrainian Jews arrivals saw annual aliyah figures hit a ten-year high in 2014.

Jewish Agency officials said 620 Britons left the UK last year, compared with 520 the year before, but this stood in stark contrast to figures fromFrance, where a staggering 7,000 people left – more than double the 2013 total.

The number of British Jews making aliyah has been steady for several years, with 700 olim (immigrants) in 2012 and 556 registering in 2011.

“Before 2006 we typically saw between 200 and 300 people leave every year from the UK,” explains Maya Naeh from the Jewish Agency in London. “But in 2006 we saw a substantial rise, and the numbers have remained steady since then, and the figures have been pretty steady since then.”

Asked why this was, she said: “It’s a question we often ask ourselves. We thought maybe it could be because of the wars, but honestly, we can’t put our finger on why it is. Even our colleagues in Israel don’t know.”

While poor economic prospects and rising levels of anti-Semitism led to the French exodus, war caused a tripling in the number of Ukrainian Jews making aliyah, with many families leaving sheltered accommodation to do so.

We expect that some 10,000 new immigrants will come from France alone next year, and we will surpass 30,000 immigrants,” said Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver, who said 26,500 had entered in 2014.

Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky identified an “historic shift” in the figures, saying: “This year, for the first time in Israel’s history, the number of immigrants who came from the free world is greater than that of immigrants fleeing countries in distress.”

While France contributed most significantly to the 88 percent increase from Western European, numbers were also up from Belgium and Italy. Tel Aviv was the most popular destination, with the coastal city of Netanya second and Jerusalem third.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: