Some 68% of the new immigrants who arrived in Jerusalem in the last four years came from western countries, data presented by the Immigration Absorption Ministry revealed Sunday evening.
In recent years, the capital has become an attraction for olim from France and North America, who also had a significant effect on the real estate market in Jerusalem. In the last two years, about half of the apartments in upscale neighborhoods in the capital were purchased by French and North American immigrants.
According to the ministry's statistics, most of these new olim define themselves as religious. Some 25% of the immigrants from France define themselves as haredim, 65% as religious and about 10% as observant or secular.
Among those who emigrated from North America, 17% define themselves as haredim, 72% as religious, and 11% as secular.
'France no longer felt like home'
Miriam and Philippe Gondin made aliyah from France last July and settled in Jerusalem. The two have since managed to find employment, Philippe as a teacher in a school for children with special needs, and Miriam as coordinator for the French community in the city.
In a conversation with Ynet, the couple said that they had decided to immigrate due to the rising anti-Semitism in France and the growing feeling that they no longer belonged in the country.
"It was difficult at first, also in terms of the language, but we're not sorry, because thanks to the relatives who are here and our friends in the community, we have found our place… we only wish that our children become assimilated as well and turn into genuine Israelis," they said.