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Aliyah from Paris – Yael (22) makes a dream come true

editor - 5 July 2017

By Rachel Poot.. Sitting across from me in a bustling Parisian brasserie, young French Yael shares with me about her dream of making aliyah. Just 22-years-old, she decided to make her aliyah this year, along with her father and her brother. But what exactly is it that convinced her to emigrate, being a young French woman?

Parijs – Foto: Moyan Brenn/CC 2.0

Israel is like a dream”, she tells me, “I can get out on the streets whenever I want, and I don’t have to worry what I look like or how to behave. In France I do. I don’t wear my Magen David, because I’m afraid to be harassed verbally or physically.” Yael is constantly aware of how to behave so as not to draw attention to her Jewishness. The opposite is true for Israel.

“I remember”, she continues, “last year when me and my family flew to Israel. When I saw the skyline of Tel Aviv from a distance, with all its lights, I was so moved. Israel is like a dream. Every time I return to France, it depresses me. It’s in Israel where we can be free, celebrate our feasts and be Jewish altogether.”

Current status of Aliyah from France
Many French Jewish people feel a same connection with Israel as Yael does, but not all are following through with their aliyah. Aliyah from France in 2016 decreased considerably. According to the Jewish Agency’sannual report, 6,000 Jews made aliyah, compared to 7,876 Jews in 2015. In an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the head of Jewish AgencyNatan Sharansky, attributes this to a slightly greater sense of security then the years before. Moreover, housing prices in Israel are very high and French diplomas are often not officially recognised.

This does not mean French Jews do not want to make aliyah. Sharansky points out there are at least 9,000 active files for those who are seriously considering emigrating. For a lot of them, it remains a dream of their “coeurs”, of their hearts, to return to the land of Israel. Therefore, let us pray for courage in their decision-making so that they will, like Yael indicates, find freedom in Israel.

Rachel Poot studied French and finished her master’s degree in Cultural History on the subject of anti-Semitism in France in the 19th century. On behalf of Christians for Israel she travels to Paris to assist the aliyah work in France
Aliyah from France
For many Jews in France the decision to go to Israel is very difficult. The Jewish Agency For Israel (JAFI)pays for the airline tickets. However, if they want to go to Israel they have to pay for their luggage. On top of that their belongings have to be shipped to Israel by container. But how can you afford that if you do not have any savings? And how do you sell any of these belongings for a fair price if people know that you are about to move? In cooperation Ebenezer Operation ExodusChristians for Israel assists the French Jews. We visit the people, listen to their needs and help them to move. The costs to help one person are € 400 euros or US$ 430.

Please support the aliyah work in France. Any amount is welcome!


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