Jewish immigration to Israel from Western Europe reached an all-time high last year, as a result of a rise in anti-Semitic attacks, the Times of Israel website reports today (January 15, 2016).
The Jewish Agency -- which works closely with the Israeli government and acts as a link for Jews around the world -- reported that 9,880 Western European Jews immigrated to Israel in 2015, the highest annual number ever.
The vast majority -- close to 8,000 -- came from France, where a rise in anti-Semitic attacks has shattered the sense of security of the world's third-largest Jewish population. Experts say European Jews have not felt this threatened since World War II, when 6 million Jews were murdered in the Nazi Holocaust.
Just this week, a machete-wielding teen attacked a Jewish teacher in the French city of Marseille, prompting a local Jewish authority to ask fellow Jews to refrain from wearing their traditional skull caps in order to stay safe.