French Jews, especially the younger ones spooked by radical Islam, are visiting Israel in record-breaking numbers through the Birthright program, the New York-based Observer.com reported.
Birthright brought 1,000 Jews from France to visit Israel for the first time last year. The number for 2015 will be 2,500 by the end of December.
The impact of radical Islamic terrorist attacks against Jews and others in France is even more blatant when comparing the number of visitors on Birthright this year with the number in 2013. Only 98 French Jews board the plane for Birthright programs two years ago.
Since then, attacks on Jews at day school, synagogues, in the street, at a kosher deli, at the offices of the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine where one of the visits was a Jewish cartoonist have woken up more French Jews that they have no future in France, except in cemeteries.
The Islamic State (ISIS) massacres in France only made them more afraid, although many older French Jews still are not interested in leaving the country. A French-Israel told The JewishPress.com that her uncle told her last week, “I am staying in France, “This wave of violence will pass.”
Birthright Israel International CEO Gidi Mark was quoted by The Observer as saying:
In 2014 we made a strategic decision to dramatically increase our engagement with the Jewish community in France and the results have exceeded all of our initial expectations.
The reaction of the younger generation of the community in France is overwhelming and moving in the way they cherish the gift of Birthright Israel.