More Israelis Moved to England than Vice Versa 2000-2010

Rob Stothard/Getty Images
Rob Stothard/Getty Images

According to the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research, in the first ten years after 2000, more Israelis emigrated from Israel to England than traveled the reverse direction.

The study reported that 8,870 Israelis moved to England during the 2000s, while 6,400 Britons emigrated to Israel. Roughly 9 percent of Israelis in England identify as Christians, and 73 percent identify as Jews. 16 percent of Jews identify as ultra-Orthodox.

In October, the institute reported that England’s Jewish Orthodox community is growing 5 percent per year while the non-hareidi population has remained stable, decreasing only 0.3 percent. Because it is typical for haredi families to have six to seven children, half of the British Jewish children and roughly 30 percent of young British Jewish adults will be haredi by 2031.

The report alleged, “The expatriate Israel-born population living in Britain is now by far the largest on record, totaling 18,178 people in 2011, 49% more than in 2001, and implying a very rapid average net increase of around 4% per year over the decade.”

JPR executive director Dr. Jonathan Boyd stated:

The evidence indicates that Israelis constitute about 6% of the UK Jewish population today. Most are secular, and relatively few choose to belong to synagogues. But they are just as likely as British Jews to send their children to Jewish schools, so it is clear that this is the main point of contact with the community. Given that this is quite a young population – the majority is aged between 25 and 45 and is highly educated – Israelis could well represent an incredibly valuable pool of talent for the Jewish community if they become active in British Jewish life.

Jonathan Arkush, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, had a different perspective:

It is largely a transitory population, most of whom are intent on returning to Israel, as many do, while others take their place… Of course some stay longterm, particularly where they have a British partner. I’m not sure that it’s helpful to make any comparison with British olim, the great majority of whom are successfully absorbed in Israel, where they remain permanently.

Tal Ofer, an Israeli member of the Board of Deputies, stated succinctly his reason some Israeli Jews move to Great Britain: “British Jews know they are better off in the UK economically.”

According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, from 2010-13, the number of immigrants to Israel remained almost identical, between 16,500 and 16,900 per year. But immigration to Israel almost doubled in 2014, as over 26,000 emigres arrived, 7,000 of them from France.