150 FRENCH JEWS ESCAPING RISING ANTI-SEMITISM AND TERRORISM ARRIVE IN ISRAEL TODAY
TEL AVIV, July 18, 2017 – One-hundred and fifty French Jews escaping rising anti-Semitism and fears of Islamist terrorism arrived in Tel Aviv today to begin new lives in Israel, on a special aliyah (immigration to Israel) flight sponsored by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship).
The olim (immigrants) ranged in age from one month old to 77 years old. Among them were two families spanning three generations, while 77 of the new immigrants were children. Also among the new arrivals was Eva Saban, the sister-in-law of Philippe Braham, who was murdered in the Hyper Cacher supermarket terror attack in Paris in 2015.
“We have been wanting to make aliyah for a while, but after the terror attack at the Hyper Cacher we were left with no doubts. We are living in fear,” Saban said. “Our children go to an Orthodox school and as they leave the building they remove the kippah from their head. We no longer are sure of what we would like to do next, but we are confident that this is the right move for our children, and we pray to God it will all work out.”
Many of the families said they also were moving to Israel in the hopes of providing their children with a better and safer future. About 80 percent of the olim, who come from Paris suburbs with large Muslim populations, said they lived in a state of tension and even persecution.
Many of these new immigrants are from lower-middle class backgrounds, and will require the kind of extra assistance in aliyah and absorption The Fellowship provides.
The olim plan to settle throughout Israel, including in Ariel, Ashdod, Hadera, Haifa, Jerusalem, Modiin Ilit, Netanya, Raanana, and Tel Aviv, though most will live in Ashdod and Netanya. Today’s olim will join 1,248 other French-Jewish immigrants who have moved to Israel with The Fellowship’s help since the organization began spearheading its own independent aliyah activities in late 2014.
By year’s end, The Fellowship expects to bring 5,000 olim to Israel from 15 countries where Jews are threatened by anti-Semitism, terrorism, or economic hardship.
“Aliyah has always been and is still a determining factor in Israeli society. The olim coming on aliyah from France have experienced some terrible incidents of hatred directed at them for one reason only – simply because they are Jewish,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of The Fellowship.
“I am very pleased to see more and more Jews choosing to come to Israel with The Fellowship, which will support them throughout their absorption as well as their aliyah. I wish all the olim a pleasant, enjoyable summer, and hope to see them acclimating successfully and soon into Israeli society.”
About The Fellowship:
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) was founded in 1983 to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews, and build broad support for Israel. Today it is one of the leading forces helping Israel and Jews in need worldwide – and is the largest channel of Christian support for Israel. Led by its founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, The Fellowship now raises more than $140 million per year, mostly from Christians, to assist Israel and the Jewish people. Since its founding, The Fellowship has raised more than $1.4 billion for this work. The organization has offices in Jerusalem, Chicago, Toronto, and Seoul. For more information, visit www.ifcj.org.
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