We have kept you abreast of The Fellowship’s recent Freedom Flights that helped over 400 Ukrainian Jews leave the violence of that region behind and make aliyah (immigrate to Israel). Now The Jerusalem Post reports on how The Fellowship is looking into ways it can help French Jews – now facing growing anti-Semitism and terror, as well – move to their historic homeland:
In the wake of Islamist terror attacks that killed a combined 16 people at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and a kosher supermarket in Paris, the leader of a prominent Christian-Jewish aid group said that he is exploring ways to help French Jews immigrate to Israel …
“There’s no question in my mind that incidents like this [and] the many others recently are increasing the risk for the Jewish community in France and their desire to leave,” Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) said.
France, which has both the largest Muslim and Jewish populations in western Europe, saw a dramatic rise in anti-Semitism in 2014, especially in reaction Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against the Hamas terrorist group last summer. France’s Jewish community suffered several violent attacks, including a recent home invasion and rape in which the attackers referenced the victims’ Jewish faith.
According to Israeli government statistics, France was the leading country for aliyah to Israel in 2014 with new 7,000 arrivals, up from 3,400 in 2013.
While Eckstein said that it is not his organization’s role to take over the responsibility of the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency for Israel in facilitate the aliyah of French Jews, he acknowledged that his organization is exploring ways that it can help.
“If we can make a difference in more Jews coming out of France, then yes, we will get involved,” Eckstein said.