A survey of Jewish community leaders in Europe found that 23% said they were considering emigrating.

That figure is unchanged since the last time the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee conducted its regular survey of European Jewish sentiment three years ago.

But the JDC survey found that European Jewish leaders, especially in Western Europe, are increasingly concerned about antisemitism, which for the first time since 2008 topped respondents’ rankings of concerns for their communities.

It also found that European Jewish leaders say they feel less connected to communities across the continent than they have in the past and that they are more concerned about poverty in their own communities.

Only 3% of the leaders surveyed said they had made active preparations to leave Europe and 67% said they had not considered emigrating at all. Another 8% did not answer the question.

Of the Jewish community leaders who said they had contemplated leaving, roughly two thirds said they would make aliyah, or immigrate to Israel.

The survey did not ask respondents their reasons for contemplating emigrating. But it is clear from their responses that European Jewish leaders are increasingly concerned about antisemitism and security.

More than two thirds of respondents said they expected antisemitism to increase in Europe over the next decade; only about half of respondents answered that way in 2008, the first time the survey was conducted. At the same time, 22% of respondents said they feel unsafe in their cities now, compared to 7% in 2008.

Concern was highest in Western Europe, where a spate of jihadist attacks on Jews over the last decade have contributed to increased immigration to Israel, particularly from France. In the years 2000 to 2010, fewer than 20,000 French Jews moved to Israel. But in the last decade, more than 40,000 have, a trend that surged after a jihadist murdered four Jews at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012, and surged again after another jihadist attack in 2015 left four Jews dead at a Paris kosher supermarket. READ MORE

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