In the 1990s, the Jewish population of South Africa declined at an unprecedented rate in marked contrast to Jewish populations in other English-speaking countries. Possible explanations include fear of political instability and political violence, deteriorating economic conditions and prospects, fear of directly discriminatory government policies, rising violent crime rates, and more permissive immigration policies in desirable destination countries. All but the last of these factors appear to have played some role. However, only changes in violent crime rates provide an explanation for the unprecedented surge in net emigration, persisting even after a successful political and economic transition to majority black rule under moderate African National Congress governments. Changes in crime rates also provide the most satisfactory explanation for related changes in internal migration patterns.