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Paris aliyah day draws 2,800

Some 2,800 people attended an Aliyah Day in Paris organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel. Sunday’s turnout was an increase from the last Aliyah Day in mid-2006, which drew fewer than 2,000 people. According to David Roche, the Jewish Agency’s Paris representative, more university-age people participated, and more older attendees were focused on making aliyah and not simply investing in Israeli real estate. He noted that 53 Israeli organizations were represented, including universities, regional councils and businesses offering jobs. The Israeli ambassador to France attended the gathering for the first time. “He told me he had never seen people so focused on making aliyah,” Roche said. Nearly 3,000 people made aliyah from France in 2006, about the same number as in 2005. France’s Jewish population of about 600,000 is the largest in Europe.