• Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver pose with a family of immigrants from France that arrived in Israel this evening.

    Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver pose with a family of immigrants from France that arrived in Israel this evening.

    David Salem, The Jewish Agency for Israel ©
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1,100 French Jewish High School Seniors to Show Solidarity with Israel in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – 1,100 high school seniors from twenty-five Jewish schools across France will light the Hanukkah menorah together during a festive event this Thursday (December 18) in Jerusalem.

They will be joined by Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky, who said that the French Jewish high schoolers' arrival in Israel is "a massive expression of solidarity that reflects the warm and unique connection between the French Jewish community and the State of Israel."

Bac Bleu Blanc—"High School Seniors in Blue and White"—is the broadest effort by The Jewish Agency for Israel, supported by Keren Hayesod-UIA, to bring young French Jews on educational experiences in Israel. The program is operated by The Jewish Agency's educational travel subsidiary, Israel Experience, Ltd., and each of the schools is a full partner in creating its own customized itinerary.

Since Bac Bleu Blanc's creation eleven years ago, some 10,000 students from twenty-five French Jewish schools have come to Israel as part of the program. This year marks the program's twelfth session. During the course of their time in Israel, participants will visit various sites of educational significance, meet with their Israeli peers, and be exposed to educational programs, institutions of higher learning, and high tech companies.

Each year, thousands of French Jews come to Israel on various Jewish Agency programs, including Masa Israel Journey, Bac Bleu Blanc, and ultimately—Aliyah (immigration). French Jewish immigration to Israel is at an all-time high, with more than 6,200 immigrants arriving so far this year, up from 3,288 in all of 2013 and 1,917 in all of 2012. The high schoolers' visit serves as an initial pilot trip, and many participants will return to Israel for lengthier stays.

The event will take place on Thursday, December 18, at 8:30 p.m. at the International Convention Center (Binyanei HaUmah) in Jerusalem.

16 Dec 2014 / 24 Kislev 5775 0
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