French Jews are fleeing the country at an unprecedented rate amid rising anti-Semitism and fears of more Isis-inspired assaults and mass casualty terror attacks.
More than 8,000 Jews left France for Israel in 2015 – a rate far higher than anywhere else in Europe but consistent with what over the past few years has become the largest mass movement of Jews since the formation of Israel in 1948.
The overriding reason Jews cite for leaving France as a steady rise in the rate of anti-Semitism over the past 15 years.
A 2013 EU poll found that 74% of French Jews are now so scared of being attacked for their religion that take steps to prevent themselves being identified as Jewish.
The rise of Muslim migration to France and Isis' calls for an increase in “lone wolf” style attacks on Jewish citizens in particular has only added to the fear.
As a result the number of Jews leaving France for Israel has doubled and then doubled again since 2010 - hitting 8,000 last year up from 1,900 in 2011.
In the southern city of Marseilles alone there have been three knife attacks on Jewish citizens since last October – the most recent against teacher Benjamin Amsellem, 35, whose life was only saved when he used a copy of the Torah to fight off his allegedly Isis-inspired teenage attacker.
Four Jews were also killed when Islamic extremists targeted a Kosher supermarket in Paris in January 2015 – just days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
The Jewish Agency, which handles aliyah (the formal name for Jewish migration to Israel), has always insisted that any Jew wanting to move to the country would be welcomed.
While this offer has attracted thousands of European Jews every year for decades, the rate of acceptance is growing dramatically, with French nationals by far the most popular applicants.
In fact the number is so high that in Ashdod - a southern Israeli city popular with new arrivals – French is heard as often as Hebrew and dozens of French-style cafes give its neighbourhoods a distinctly Parisian feel, according to CNN.
In comparison Britain has the second highest number of Jews leaving for Israel but the figures are still one tenth lower than France with just 774 departures last year.
The news comes as it was revealed that Jewish people no longer feel safe living in Germany thanks to a combination of extreme right-wing forces, deteriorating security, and Germany welcoming of refugees brought up in cultures "steeped in hatred" for Jews were resulting in anti-Semitism.
Speaking to the the Jerusalem Post, the leader of Hamberg’s Jewish community, Daniel Killy said: "We no longer feel safe here."Reuse content