There is an alarming rate of assimilation and intermarriage among Jews in Europe, a special study presented on Wednesday to the Knesset’s Committee on Immigration, Absorption, and Diaspora showed.
The percentage of assimilation among Polish Jews is 70%, in Hungary, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden it is 50% and in France 31%.
In the past 70 years, since 1950, Europe has lost 60% of its Jews, and the Jewish population on the Continent is at a 1,000-year low.
While 90% of world Jewry lived in Europe in the 19th century, today only 10% live there.
The report notes that there Jews are immigrating from many European countries due to the rise of anti-Semitism, the collapse of the communities, and assimilation.
Committee Chairman David Bitan stressed that “in Europe Jews are forced to hide Jewish symbols, afraid to walk around with a Kippah on the street, and synagogues are secured by the local police. The State of Israel needs to support the Jewish communities abroad, because not all Jews can or will want to immigrate.”
The Jewish communities expect contact with the State of Israel through curricula for formal and non-formal education, financial support, and meetings between community leaders and government representatives in the country.
Bitan called on the Ministry of Diaspora to fund Israeli emissaries to the communities in addition to funding by the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization.
Dr. Dov Maimon, of the Jewish People’s Policy Institute, had no positive scenario for European Jewry, due to economic decline and the rise of Islamization.
Maimon presented three possible scenarios: increasing Islamization on the Continent, causing many Jews to leave, a fierce struggle against Islamization, and then Jews and other minorities would suffer and feel persecuted, or a sharp confrontation between Europeans and Islam – and in this scenario, the Jews would want to leave as well.
Yaakov Haguel, chairman of the Zionist Organization, pointed to a survey conducted by the European Union about a year ago, which showed that 75% of European Jews who were harmed by anti-Semitism – do not report it at all.
Prof. Dina Porat, Head of the Center for the Study of European Jewry at Tel Aviv University, added that the EU survey means that only about a quarter of the continent’s anti-Semitic incidents are treated and investigated. According to her, it is not anti-Semitism that causes assimilation.