Jews

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This article is about the Jewish people. Jews_sentence_0

For their religion, see Judaism. Jews_sentence_1

"Jew" redirects here. Jews_sentence_2

For other uses, see Jew (disambiguation). Jews_sentence_3

Jews_table_infobox_0

JewsJews_table_caption_0
יְהוּדִים‬ (Yehudim)Jews_header_cell_0_0_0
Total populationJews_header_cell_0_1_0
Regions with significant populationsJews_header_cell_0_2_0
IsraelJews_header_cell_0_3_0 6,558,000–6,958,000Jews_cell_0_3_1
United StatesJews_header_cell_0_4_0 5,700,000–10,000,000Jews_cell_0_4_1
FranceJews_header_cell_0_5_0 453,000–600,000Jews_cell_0_5_1
CanadaJews_header_cell_0_6_0 391,000–550,000Jews_cell_0_6_1
United KingdomJews_header_cell_0_7_0 290,000–370,000Jews_cell_0_7_1
ArgentinaJews_header_cell_0_8_0 180,000–330,000Jews_cell_0_8_1
RussiaJews_header_cell_0_9_0 172,000–440,000Jews_cell_0_9_1
GermanyJews_header_cell_0_10_0 116,000–225,000Jews_cell_0_10_1
AustraliaJews_header_cell_0_11_0 113,000–140,000Jews_cell_0_11_1
BrazilJews_header_cell_0_12_0 93,000–150,000Jews_cell_0_12_1
South AfricaJews_header_cell_0_13_0 69,000–80,000Jews_cell_0_13_1
UkraineJews_header_cell_0_14_0 50,000–140,000Jews_cell_0_14_1
HungaryJews_header_cell_0_15_0 47,000–100,000Jews_cell_0_15_1
MexicoJews_header_cell_0_16_0 40,000–50,000Jews_cell_0_16_1
NetherlandsJews_header_cell_0_17_0 30,000–52,000Jews_cell_0_17_1
BelgiumJews_header_cell_0_18_0 29,000–40,000Jews_cell_0_18_1
ItalyJews_header_cell_0_19_0 28,000–41,000Jews_cell_0_19_1
SwitzerlandJews_header_cell_0_20_0 19,000–25,000Jews_cell_0_20_1
ChileJews_header_cell_0_21_0 18,000–26,000Jews_cell_0_21_1
UruguayJews_header_cell_0_22_0 17,000–25,000Jews_cell_0_22_1
TurkeyJews_header_cell_0_23_0 15,000–21,000Jews_cell_0_23_1
SwedenJews_header_cell_0_24_0 15,000–25,000Jews_cell_0_24_1
LanguagesJews_header_cell_0_25_0
ReligionJews_header_cell_0_26_0
Related ethnic groupsJews_header_cell_0_27_0

Jews (Hebrew: יְהוּדִים‎ ISO 259-2 Yehudim, Israeli pronunciation [jehuˈdim) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jews_sentence_4

Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the ethnic religion of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance. Jews_sentence_5

Jews originated as an ethnic and religious group in the Middle East during the second millennium BCE, in the part of the Levant known as the Land of Israel. Jews_sentence_6

The Merneptah Stele appears to confirm the existence of a people of Israel somewhere in Canaan as far back as the 13th century BCE (Late Bronze Age). Jews_sentence_7

The Israelites, as an outgrowth of the Canaanite population, consolidated their hold with the emergence of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Jews_sentence_8

Some consider that these Canaanite sedentary Israelites melded with incoming nomadic groups known as 'Hebrews'. Jews_sentence_9

Though few sources mention the exilic periods in detail, the experience of diaspora life, from the Babylonian captivity and exile to the Roman occupation and exile, and the historical relations between Jews and their homeland thereafter, became a major feature of Jewish history, identity and memory. Jews_sentence_10

In the millennia following, Jewish diaspora communities coalesced into major distinct ethnic groups: Ashkenazim (European Jews), and Sephardim (Iberian Jews); furthermore, Mizrahim (Oriental Jews) are often—particularly in Israel—regarded as separate from Sephardim. Jews_sentence_11

Prior to World War II, the worldwide Jewish population reached a peak of 16.7 million, representing around 0.7 percent of the world population at that time. Jews_sentence_12

Approximately 6 million Jews were systematically murdered during the Holocaust. Jews_sentence_13

Since then the population has slowly risen again, and as of 2018 was estimated at 14.6–17.8 million by the Berman Jewish DataBank, less than 0.2 percent of the total world population. Jews_sentence_14

The modern State of Israel is the only country where Jews form a majority of the population. Jews_sentence_15

It defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state in the Basic Laws, Human Dignity and Liberty in particular, which is based on the Declaration of Independence. Jews_sentence_16

Israel's Law of Return grants the right of citizenship to Jews who have expressed their desire to settle in Israel. Jews_sentence_17

Despite their small percentage of the world's population, Jews have significantly influenced and contributed to human progress in many fields, both historically and in modern times, including philosophy, ethics, literature, politics, business, fine arts and architecture, music, theatre and cinema, medicine, and science and technology, as well as religion; Jews authored the Bible, founded Early Christianity and had a profound influence on Islam. Jews_sentence_18

Jews have also played a significant role in the development of Western Civilization. Jews_sentence_19

Name and etymology Jews_section_0

Main article: Jew (word) Jews_sentence_20

For a more comprehensive list, see List of Jewish ethnonyms. Jews_sentence_21

The English word "Jew" continues Middle English Gyw, Iewe. Jews_sentence_22

These terms were loaned via the Old French giu, which itself evolved from the earlier juieu, which in turn derived from judieu/iudieu which through elision had dropped the letter "d" from the Medieval Latin Iudaeus, which, like the New Testament Greek term Ioudaios, meant both "Jew" and "Judean" / "of Judea". Jews_sentence_23

The Greek term was a loan from Aramaic Y'hūdāi, corresponding to Hebrew יְהוּדִי Yehudi, originally the term for a member of the tribe of Judah or the people of the kingdom of Judah. Jews_sentence_24

According to the Hebrew Bible, the name of both the tribe and kingdom derive from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob. Jews_sentence_25

Genesis 29:35 and 49:8 connect the name "Judah" with the verb yada, meaning "praise", but scholars generally agree that the name of both the patriarch and the kingdom instead have a geographic origin—possibly referring to the gorges and ravines of the region. Jews_sentence_26

The Hebrew word for "Jew" is יְהוּדִי‎ Yehudi, with the plural יְהוּדִים‎ Yehudim. Jews_sentence_27

Endonyms in other Jewish languages include the Ladino ג׳ודיו‎ Djudio (plural ג׳ודיוס‎, Djudios) and the Yiddish ייִד‎ Yid (plural ייִדן‎ Yidn). Jews_sentence_28

The etymological equivalent is in use in other languages, e.g., يَهُودِيّ yahūdī (sg. Jews_sentence_29

), al-yahūd (pl.), in Arabic, "Jude" in German, "judeu" in Portuguese, "Juif" (m.)/"Juive" (f.) in French, "jøde" in Danish and Norwegian, "judío/a" in Spanish, "jood" in Dutch, "żyd" in Polish etc., but derivations of the word "Hebrew" are also in use to describe a Jew, e.g., in Italian (Ebreo), in Persian ("Ebri/Ebrani" (Persian: عبری/عبرانی‎)) and Russian (Еврей, Yevrey). Jews_sentence_30

The German word "Jude" is pronounced [ˈjuːdə, the corresponding adjective "jüdisch" [ˈjyːdɪʃ (Jewish) is the origin of the word "Yiddish". Jews_sentence_31

According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, fourth edition (2000), Jews_sentence_32

Who is a Jew? Jews_section_1

Main articles: Who is a Jew? Jews_sentence_33

and Jewish identity Jews_sentence_34

Judaism shares some of the characteristics of a nation, an ethnicity, a religion, and a culture, making the definition of who is a Jew vary slightly depending on whether a religious or national approach to identity is used. Jews_sentence_35

Generally, in modern secular usage Jews include three groups: people who were born to a Jewish family regardless of whether or not they follow the religion, those who have some Jewish ancestral background or lineage (sometimes including those who do not have strictly matrilineal descent), and people without any Jewish ancestral background or lineage who have formally converted to Judaism and therefore are followers of the religion. Jews_sentence_36

Historical definitions of Jewish identity have traditionally been based on halakhic definitions of matrilineal descent, and halakhic conversions. Jews_sentence_37

These definitions of who is a Jew date back to the codification of the Oral Torah into the Babylonian Talmud, around 200 CE. Jews_sentence_38

Interpretations of sections of the Tanakh, such as Deuteronomy 7:1–5, by Jewish sages, are used as a warning against intermarriage between Jews and Canaanites because "[the non-Jewish husband] will cause your child to turn away from Me and they will worship the gods of others." Jews_sentence_39

says that the son in a marriage between a Hebrew woman and an Egyptian man is "of the community of Israel." Jews_sentence_40

This is complemented by , where Israelites returning from Babylon vow to put aside their gentile wives and their children. Jews_sentence_41

A popular theory is that the rape of Jewish women in captivity brought about the law of Jewish identity being inherited through the maternal line, although scholars challenge this theory citing the Talmudic establishment of the law from the pre-exile period. Jews_sentence_42

Another argument is that the rabbis changed the law of patrilineal descent to matrilineal descent due to the widespread rape of Jewish women by Roman soldiers. Jews_sentence_43

Since the anti-religious Haskalah movement of the late 18th and 19th centuries, halakhic interpretations of Jewish identity have been challenged. Jews_sentence_44

According to historian Shaye J. D. Cohen, the status of the offspring of mixed marriages was determined patrilineally in the Bible. Jews_sentence_45

He brings two likely explanations for the change in Mishnaic times: first, the Mishnah may have been applying the same logic to mixed marriages as it had applied to other mixtures (Kil'ayim). Jews_sentence_46

Thus, a mixed marriage is forbidden as is the union of a horse and a donkey, and in both unions the offspring are judged matrilineally. Jews_sentence_47

Second, the Tannaim may have been influenced by Roman law, which dictated that when a parent could not contract a legal marriage, offspring would follow the mother. Jews_sentence_48

Rabbi Rivon Krygier follows a similar reasoning, arguing that Jewish descent had formerly passed through the patrineal descent and the law of matrilineal descent had its roots in the Roman legal system. Jews_sentence_49

Origins Jews_section_2

Further information: Canaan, Israelites, Origins of Judaism, and History of ancient Israel and Judah Jews_sentence_50

A factual reconstruction for the origin of the Jews is a difficult and complex endeavor. Jews_sentence_51

It requires examining at least 3,000 years of ancient human history using documents in vast quantities and variety written in at least ten near Eastern languages. Jews_sentence_52

As archaeological discovery relies upon researchers and scholars from diverse disciplines, the goal is to interpret all of the factual data, focusing on the most consistent theory. Jews_sentence_53

The prehistory and ethnogenesis of the Jews are closely intertwined with archaeology, biology, and historical textual records, as well as religious literature and mythology. Jews_sentence_54

The ethnic stock to which Jews originally trace their ancestry was a confederation of Iron Age Semitic-speaking tribes known as the Israelites that inhabited a part of Canaan during the tribal and monarchic periods. Jews_sentence_55

Modern Jews are named after and also descended from the southern Israelite Kingdom of Judah. Jews_sentence_56

According to the Hebrew Bible narrative, Jewish ancestry is traced back to the Biblical patriarchs such as Abraham, his son Isaac, Isaac's son Jacob, and the Biblical matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel, who lived in Canaan. Jews_sentence_57

The Twelve Tribes are described as descending from the twelve sons of Jacob. Jews_sentence_58

Jacob and his family migrated to Ancient Egypt after being invited to live with Jacob's son Joseph by the Pharaoh himself. Jews_sentence_59

The patriarchs' descendants were later enslaved until the Exodus led by Moses, after which the Israelites conquered Canaan under Moses' successor Joshua, went through the period of the Biblical judges after the death of Joshua, then through the mediation of Samuel became subject to a king, Saul, who was succeeded by David and then Solomon, after whom the United Monarchy ended and was split into a separate Kingdom of Israel and a Kingdom of Judah. Jews_sentence_60

The Kingdom of Judah is described as comprising the Tribe of Judah, the Tribe of Benjamin, partially the Tribe of Levi, and later adding remnants of other tribes who migrated there from the Kingdom of Israel. Jews_sentence_61

Modern Jews claim lineage from those tribes since the ten northern tribes were lost following Assyrian captivity. Jews_sentence_62

Modern archaeology has largely discarded the historicity of this narrative, with it being reframed as constituting the Israelites' inspiring national myth narrative. Jews_sentence_63

The Israelites and their culture, according to the modern archaeological account, did not overtake the region by force, but instead branched out of the Canaanite peoples and culture through the development of a distinct monolatristic—and later monotheistic—religion centered on Yahweh. Jews_sentence_64

The growth of Yahweh-centric belief, along with a number of cultic practices, gradually gave rise to a distinct Israelite ethnic group, setting them apart from other Canaanites. Jews_sentence_65

The Israelites become visible in the historical record as a people between 1200 and 1000 BCE. Jews_sentence_66

It is not certain if a period like that of the Biblical judges occurred nor if there was ever a United Monarchy. Jews_sentence_67

There is well accepted archeological evidence referring to "Israel" in the Merneptah Stele, which dates to about 1200 BCE, and the Canaanites are archeologically attested in the Middle Bronze Age. Jews_sentence_68

There is debate about the earliest existence of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah and their extent and power, but historians agree that a Kingdom of Israel existed by c. 900 BCE and that a Kingdom of Judah existed by c. 700 BCE. Jews_sentence_69

It is widely accepted that the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed around 720 BCE, when it was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Jews_sentence_70

History Jews_section_3

Main article: Jewish history Jews_sentence_71

The term Jew originated from the Roman "Judean" and denoted someone from the southern kingdom of Judah. Jews_sentence_72

The shift of ethnonym from "Israelites" to "Jews" (inhabitant of Judah), although not contained in the Torah, is made explicit in the Book of Esther (4th century BCE), a book in the Ketuvim, the third section of the Jewish Tanakh. Jews_sentence_73

In 587 BCE Nebuchadnezzar II, King of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, besieged Jerusalem, destroyed the First Temple, and deported the most prominent citizens of Judah. Jews_sentence_74

According to the Book of Ezra, the Persian Cyrus the Great ended the Babylonian exile in 538 BCE, the year after he captured Babylon. Jews_sentence_75

The exile ended with the return under Zerubbabel the Prince (so-called because he was a descendant of the royal line of David) and Joshua the Priest (a descendant of the line of the former High Priests of the Temple) and their construction of the Second Temple in the period 521–516 BCE. Jews_sentence_76

The Cyrus Cylinder, an ancient tablet on which is written a declaration in the name of Cyrus referring to restoration of temples and repatriation of exiled peoples, has often been taken as corroboration of the authenticity of the biblical decrees attributed to Cyrus, but other scholars point out that the cylinder's text is specific to Babylon and Mesopotamia and makes no mention of Judah or Jerusalem. Jews_sentence_77

Professor Lester L. Grabbe asserted that the "alleged decree of Cyrus" regarding Judah, "cannot be considered authentic", but that there was a "general policy of allowing deportees to return and to re-establish cult sites". Jews_sentence_78

He also stated that archaeology suggests that the return was a "trickle" taking place over decades, rather than a single event. Jews_sentence_79

As part of the Persian Empire, the former Kingdom of Judah became the province of Judah (Yehud Medinata) with different borders, covering a smaller territory. Jews_sentence_80

The population of the province was greatly reduced from that of the kingdom, archaeological surveys showing a population of around 30,000 people in the 5th to 4th centuries BCE. Jews_sentence_81

The region was under control of the Achaemenids until the fall of their empire in c. 333 BCE to Alexander the Great. Jews_sentence_82

Jews were also politically independent during the Hasmonean dynasty spanning from 110 to 63 BCE and to some degree under the Herodian dynasty from 37 BCE to 6 CE. Jews_sentence_83

Since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, most Jews have lived in diaspora. Jews_sentence_84

Genetic studies on Jews show that most Jews worldwide bear a common genetic heritage which originates in the Middle East, and that they share certain genetic traits with other Gentile peoples of the Fertile Crescent. Jews_sentence_85

The genetic composition of different Jewish groups shows that Jews share a common gene pool dating back four millennia, as a marker of their common ancestral origin. Jews_sentence_86

Despite their long-term separation, Jewish communities maintained their unique commonalities, propensities, and sensibilities in culture, tradition, and language. Jews_sentence_87

Babylon and Rome Jews_section_4

Further information: History of the Jews in the Roman Empire Jews_sentence_88

After the destruction of the Second Temple, Judaism lost much of its sectarian nature. Jews_sentence_89

Without a Temple, Greek-speaking Jews no longer looked to Jerusalem in the way they had before. Jews_sentence_90

Judaism separated into a linguistically Greek and a Hebrew / Aramaic sphere. Jews_sentence_91

The theology and religious texts of each community were distinctively different. Jews_sentence_92

Hellenized Judaism never developed yeshivas to study the Oral Law. Jews_sentence_93

Rabbinic Judaism (centered in the Land of Israel and Babylon) almost entirely ignores the Hellenized Diaspora in its writings. Jews_sentence_94

Hellenized Judaism eventually disappeared as its practitioners assimilated into Greco-Roman culture, leaving a strong Rabbinic eastern Diaspora with large centers of learning in Babylon. Jews_sentence_95

By the first century, the Jewish community in Babylonia, to which Jews were exiled after the Babylonian conquest as well as after the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE, already held a speedily growing population of an estimated one million Jews, which increased to an estimated two million between the years 200 CE and 500 CE, both by natural growth and by immigration of more Jews from the Land of Israel, making up about one-sixth of the world Jewish population at that era. Jews_sentence_96

The 13th-century author Bar Hebraeus gave a figure of 6,944,000 Jews in the Roman world; Salo Wittmayer Baron considered the figure convincing. Jews_sentence_97

The figure of seven million within and one million outside the Roman world in the mid-first century became widely accepted, including by Louis Feldman. Jews_sentence_98

However, contemporary scholars now accept that Bar Hebraeus based his figure on a census of total Roman citizens, the figure of 6,944,000 being recorded in Eusebius' Chronicon. Jews_sentence_99

Louis Feldman, previously an active supporter of the figure, now states that he and Baron were mistaken. Jews_sentence_100

Feldman's views on active Jewish missionizing have also changed. Jews_sentence_101

While viewing classical Judaism as being receptive to converts, especially from the second century BCE through the first century CE, he points to a lack of either missionizing tracts or records of the names of rabbis who sought converts as evidence for the lack of active Jewish missionizing. Jews_sentence_102

Feldman maintains that conversion to Judaism was common and the Jewish population was large both within the Land of Israel and in the Diaspora. Jews_sentence_103

Other historians believe that conversion during the Roman era was limited in number and did not account for much of the Jewish population growth, due to various factors such as the illegality of male conversion to Judaism in the Roman world from the mid-second century. Jews_sentence_104

Another factor that made conversion difficult in the Roman world was the halakhic requirement of circumcision, a requirement that proselytizing Christianity quickly dropped. Jews_sentence_105

The Fiscus Judaicus, a tax imposed on Jews in 70 CE and relaxed to exclude Christians in 96 CE, also limited Judaism's appeal. Jews_sentence_106

Diaspora Jews_section_5

Further information: History of the Jews in Europe, History of European Jews in the Middle Ages, Mizrahi Jews, and Sephardi Jews Jews_sentence_107

Following the Roman conquest of Judea and the siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE, hundreds of thousands of Jews were taken as slaves to Rome, where they later immigrated to other European lands. Jews_sentence_108

The Jews who immigrated to Iberia and North Africa comprise the Sephardic Jews, while those who immigrated to the Rhineland and France comprise the Ashkenazi Jews. Jews_sentence_109

Additionally both before and after the Roman conquest of Judea many Jews lived in Persia and Babylon as well as other Middle eastern countries, these Jews comprise the Mizrachi Jews. Jews_sentence_110

In Francia, Jews like Isaac Judaeus and Armentarius occupied prominent social and economic positions, as opposed to in Spain, where Jews were persecuted under Visigoth rule. Jews_sentence_111

In Babylon, from the 7th to 11th centuries the Pumbedita and Sura academies lead the Arab and to an extant the entire Jewish world. Jews_sentence_112

The deans and students of said academies defined the Geonic period in Jewish history. Jews_sentence_113

Following this period were the Rishonim who lived from the 11th to 15th centuries, it was during this time that the Ashkenazi Jews began experiencing extreme persecution in France and especially the Rhineland, which resulted in mass immigration to Poland and Lithuania. Jews_sentence_114

Meanwhile Sephardic Jews experienced a golden age under Muslim rule, however following the Reconquista and subsequent Alhambra decree in 1492, most of the Spanish Jewish population immigrated to North Africa and the Ottoman Empire. Jews_sentence_115

However some Jews choose to remain and pretended to practice Catholicism. Jews_sentence_116

These Jews would form the members of Crypto-Judaism. Jews_sentence_117

Enlightenment Jews_section_6

Culture Jews_section_7

Main article: Jewish culture Jews_sentence_118

Religion Jews_section_8

Main article: Judaism Jews_sentence_119

The Jewish people and the religion of Judaism are strongly interrelated. Jews_sentence_120

Converts to Judaism typically have a status within the Jewish ethnos equal to those born into it. Jews_sentence_121

However, several converts to Judaism, as well as ex-Jews, have claimed that converts are treated as second-class Jews by many born Jews. Jews_sentence_122

Conversion is not encouraged by mainstream Judaism, and it is considered a difficult task. Jews_sentence_123

A significant portion of conversions are undertaken by children of mixed marriages, or would-be or current spouses of Jews. Jews_sentence_124

The Hebrew Bible, a religious interpretation of the traditions and early history of the Jews, established the first of the Abrahamic religions, which are now practiced by 54 percent of the world. Jews_sentence_125

Judaism guides its adherents in both practice and belief, and has been called not only a religion, but also a "way of life," which has made drawing a clear distinction between Judaism, Jewish culture, and Jewish identity rather difficult. Jews_sentence_126

Throughout history, in eras and places as diverse as the ancient Hellenic world, in Europe before and after The Age of Enlightenment (see Haskalah), in Islamic Spain and Portugal, in North Africa and the Middle East, India, China, or the contemporary United States and Israel, cultural phenomena have developed that are in some sense characteristically Jewish without being at all specifically religious. Jews_sentence_127

Some factors in this come from within Judaism, others from the interaction of Jews or specific communities of Jews with their surroundings, and still others from the inner social and cultural dynamics of the community, as opposed to from the religion itself. Jews_sentence_128

This phenomenon has led to considerably different Jewish cultures unique to their own communities. Jews_sentence_129

Languages Jews_section_9

Main article: Jewish languages Jews_sentence_130

Hebrew is the liturgical language of Judaism (termed lashon ha-kodesh, "the holy tongue"), the language in which most of the Hebrew scriptures (Tanakh) were composed, and the daily speech of the Jewish people for centuries. Jews_sentence_131

By the 5th century BCE, Aramaic, a closely related tongue, joined Hebrew as the spoken language in Judea. Jews_sentence_132

By the 3rd century BCE, some Jews of the diaspora were speaking Greek. Jews_sentence_133

Others, such as in the Jewish communities of Babylonia, were speaking Hebrew and Aramaic, the languages of the Babylonian Talmud. Jews_sentence_134

These languages were also used by the Jews of Israel at that time. Jews_sentence_135

For centuries, Jews worldwide have spoken the local or dominant languages of the regions they migrated to, often developing distinctive dialectal forms or branches that became independent languages. Jews_sentence_136

Yiddish is the Judaeo-German language developed by Ashkenazi Jews who migrated to Central Europe. Jews_sentence_137

Ladino is the Judaeo-Spanish language developed by Sephardic Jews who migrated to the Iberian peninsula. Jews_sentence_138

Due to many factors, including the impact of the Holocaust on European Jewry, the Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries, and widespread emigration from other Jewish communities around the world, ancient and distinct Jewish languages of several communities, including Judaeo-Georgian, Judaeo-Arabic, Judaeo-Berber, Krymchak, Judaeo-Malayalam and many others, have largely fallen out of use. Jews_sentence_139

For over sixteen centuries Hebrew was used almost exclusively as a liturgical language, and as the language in which most books had been written on Judaism, with a few speaking only Hebrew on the Sabbath. Jews_sentence_140

Hebrew was revived as a spoken language by Eliezer ben Yehuda, who arrived in Palestine in 1881. Jews_sentence_141

It had not been used as a mother tongue since Tannaic times. Jews_sentence_142

Modern Hebrew is designated as the "State language" of Israel. Jews_sentence_143

Despite efforts to revive Hebrew as the national language of the Jewish people, knowledge of the language is not commonly possessed by Jews worldwide and English has emerged as the lingua franca of the Jewish diaspora. Jews_sentence_144

Although many Jews once had sufficient knowledge of Hebrew to study the classic literature, and Jewish languages like Yiddish and Ladino were commonly used as recently as the early 20th century, most Jews lack such knowledge today and English has by and large superseded most Jewish vernaculars. Jews_sentence_145

The three most commonly spoken languages among Jews today are Hebrew, English, and Russian. Jews_sentence_146

Some Romance languages, particularly French and Spanish, are also widely used. Jews_sentence_147

Yiddish has been spoken by more Jews in history than any other language, but it is far less used today following the Holocaust and the adoption of Modern Hebrew by the Zionist movement and the State of Israel. Jews_sentence_148

In some places, the mother language of the Jewish community differs from that of the general population or the dominant group. Jews_sentence_149

For example, in Quebec, the Ashkenazic majority has adopted English, while the Sephardic minority uses French as its primary language. Jews_sentence_150

Similarly, South African Jews adopted English rather than Afrikaans. Jews_sentence_151

Due to both Czarist and Soviet policies, Russian has superseded Yiddish as the language of Russian Jews, but these policies have also affected neighboring communities. Jews_sentence_152

Today, Russian is the first language for many Jewish communities in a number of Post-Soviet states, such as Ukraine and Uzbekistan, as well as for Ashkenazic Jews in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Tajikistan. Jews_sentence_153

Although communities in North Africa today are small and dwindling, Jews there had shifted from a multilingual group to a monolingual one (or nearly so), speaking French in Algeria, Morocco, and the city of Tunis, while most North Africans continue to use Arabic or Berber as their mother tongue. Jews_sentence_154

Leadership Jews_section_10

Main article: Jewish leadership Jews_sentence_155

There is no single governing body for the Jewish community, nor a single authority with responsibility for religious doctrine. Jews_sentence_156

Instead, a variety of secular and religious institutions at the local, national, and international levels lead various parts of the Jewish community on a variety of issues. Jews_sentence_157

Today, many countries have a Chief Rabbi who serves as a representative of that country's Jewry. Jews_sentence_158

Although many Hassidic Jews follow a certain hereditary Hasidic dynasty, there is no one commonly accepted leader of all Hasidic Jews. Jews_sentence_159

Many Jews believe that the Messiah will act a unifying leader for Jews and the entire world. Jews_sentence_160

Theories on ancient Jewish national identity Jews_section_11

A number of modern scholars of nationalism support the existence of Jewish national identity in antiquity. Jews_sentence_161

One of them is David Goodblatt, who generally believes in the existence of nationalism before the modern period. Jews_sentence_162

In his view, the Bible, the parabiblical literature and the Jewish national history provide the base for a Jewish collective identity. Jews_sentence_163

Although many of the ancient Jews were illiterate (as were their neighbors), their national narrative was reinforced through public readings, a common practice in the ancient eastern Mediterranean area. Jews_sentence_164

The Hebrew language also constructed and preserved national identity. Jews_sentence_165

Although it was not spoken by most of the Jews after the 5th century BCE, Goodblatt contends that: Jews_sentence_166

Jews_description_list_0

  • “the mere presence of the language in spoken or written form could invoke the concept of a Jewish national identity. Even if one knew no Hebrew or was illiterate, one could recognize that a group of signs was in Hebrew script. … It was the language of the Israelite ancestors, the national literature, and the national religion. As such it was inseparable from the national identity. Indeed its mere presence in visual or aural medium could invoke that identity.”Jews_item_0_0

It is believed that Jewish nationalist sentiment in antiquity was encouraged because under foreign rule (Persians, Greeks, Romans) Jews were able to claim that they were an ancient nation. Jews_sentence_167

This claim was based on the preservation and reverence of their scriptures, the Hebrew language, the Temple and priesthood, and other traditions of their ancestors. Jews_sentence_168

Demographics Jews_section_12

Further information: Jewish population by country Jews_sentence_169

Ethnic divisions Jews_section_13

Main article: Jewish ethnic divisions Jews_sentence_170

Within the world's Jewish population there are distinct ethnic divisions, most of which are primarily the result of geographic branching from an originating Israelite population, and subsequent independent evolutions. Jews_sentence_171

An array of Jewish communities was established by Jewish settlers in various places around the Old World, often at great distances from one another, resulting in effective and often long-term isolation. Jews_sentence_172

During the millennia of the Jewish diaspora the communities would develop under the influence of their local environments: political, cultural, natural, and populational. Jews_sentence_173

Today, manifestations of these differences among the Jews can be observed in Jewish cultural expressions of each community, including Jewish linguistic diversity, culinary preferences, liturgical practices, religious interpretations, as well as degrees and sources of genetic admixture. Jews_sentence_174

Jews are often identified as belonging to one of two major groups: the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim. Jews_sentence_175

Ashkenazim, or "Germanics" (Ashkenaz meaning "Germany" in Hebrew), are so named denoting their German Jewish cultural and geographical origins, while Sephardim, or "Hispanics" (Sefarad meaning "Spain/Hispania" or "Iberia" in Hebrew), are so named denoting their Spanish/Portuguese Jewish cultural and geographic origins. Jews_sentence_176

The more common term in Israel for many of those broadly called Sephardim, is Mizrahim (lit. Jews_sentence_177

"Easterners", Mizrach being "East" in Hebrew), that is, in reference to the diverse collection of Middle Eastern and North African Jews who are often, as a group, referred to collectively as Sephardim (together with Sephardim proper) for liturgical reasons, although Mizrahi Jewish groups and Sephardi Jews proper are ethnically distinct. Jews_sentence_178

Smaller groups include, but are not restricted to, Indian Jews such as the Bene Israel, Bnei Menashe, Cochin Jews, and Bene Ephraim; the Romaniotes of Greece; the Italian Jews ("Italkim" or "Bené Roma"); the Teimanim from Yemen; various African Jews, including most numerously the Beta Israel of Ethiopia; and Chinese Jews, most notably the Kaifeng Jews, as well as various other distinct but now almost extinct communities. Jews_sentence_179

The divisions between all these groups are approximate and their boundaries are not always clear. Jews_sentence_180

The Mizrahim for example, are a heterogeneous collection of North African, Central Asian, Caucasian, and Middle Eastern Jewish communities that are no closer related to each other than they are to any of the earlier mentioned Jewish groups. Jews_sentence_181

In modern usage, however, the Mizrahim are sometimes termed Sephardi due to similar styles of liturgy, despite independent development from Sephardim proper. Jews_sentence_182

Thus, among Mizrahim there are Egyptian Jews, Iraqi Jews, Lebanese Jews, Kurdish Jews, Moroccan Jews, Libyan Jews, Syrian Jews, Bukharian Jews, Mountain Jews, Georgian Jews, Iranian Jews, Afghan Jews, and various others. Jews_sentence_183

The Teimanim from Yemen are sometimes included, although their style of liturgy is unique and they differ in respect to the admixture found among them to that found in Mizrahim. Jews_sentence_184

In addition, there is a differentiation made between Sephardi migrants who established themselves in the Middle East and North Africa after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal in the 1490s and the pre-existing Jewish communities in those regions. Jews_sentence_185

Ashkenazi Jews represent the bulk of modern Jewry, with at least 70 percent of Jews worldwide (and up to 90 percent prior to World War II and the Holocaust). Jews_sentence_186

As a result of their emigration from Europe, Ashkenazim also represent the overwhelming majority of Jews in the New World continents, in countries such as the United States, Canada, Argentina, Australia, and Brazil. Jews_sentence_187

In France, the immigration of Jews from Algeria (Sephardim) has led them to outnumber the Ashkenazim. Jews_sentence_188

Only in Israel is the Jewish population representative of all groups, a melting pot independent of each group's proportion within the overall world Jewish population. Jews_sentence_189

Genetic studies Jews_section_14

Main article: Genetic studies on Jews Jews_sentence_190

Population centers Jews_section_15

For a more comprehensive list, see List of urban areas by Jewish population. Jews_sentence_191

Although historically, Jews have been found all over the world, in the decades since World War II and the establishment of Israel, they have increasingly concentrated in a small number of countries. Jews_sentence_192

In 2013, the United States and Israel were collectively home to more than 80 percent of the global Jewish population, each country having approximately 41 percent of the world's Jews. Jews_sentence_193

According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics there were 13,421,000 Jews worldwide in 2009, roughly 0.19 percent of the world's population at the time. Jews_sentence_194

According to the 2007 estimates of The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, the world's Jewish population is 13.2 million. Jews_sentence_195

Adherents.com cites figures ranging from 12 to 18 million. Jews_sentence_196

These statistics incorporate both practicing Jews affiliated with synagogues and the Jewish community, and approximately 4.5 million unaffiliated and secular Jews. Jews_sentence_197

According to Sergio Della Pergola, a demographer of the Jewish population, in 2015 there were about 6.3 million Jews in Israel, 5.7 million in the United States, and 2.3 million in the rest of the world. Jews_sentence_198

Israel Jews_section_16

Main article: Israeli Jews Jews_sentence_199

Israel, the Jewish nation-state, is the only country in which Jews make up a majority of the citizens. Jews_sentence_200

Israel was established as an independent democratic and Jewish state on 14 May 1948. Jews_sentence_201

Of the 120 members in its parliament, the Knesset, as of 2016, 14 members of the Knesset are Arab citizens of Israel (not including the Druze), most representing Arab political parties. Jews_sentence_202

One of Israel's Supreme Court judges is also an Arab citizen of Israel. Jews_sentence_203

Between 1948 and 1958, the Jewish population rose from 800,000 to two million. Jews_sentence_204

Currently, Jews account for 75.4 percent of the Israeli population, or 6 million people. Jews_sentence_205

The early years of the State of Israel were marked by the mass immigration of Holocaust survivors in the aftermath of the Holocaust and Jews fleeing Arab lands. Jews_sentence_206

Israel also has a large population of Ethiopian Jews, many of whom were airlifted to Israel in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Jews_sentence_207

Between 1974 and 1979 nearly 227,258 immigrants arrived in Israel, about half being from the Soviet Union. Jews_sentence_208

This period also saw an increase in immigration to Israel from Western Europe, Latin America, and North America. Jews_sentence_209

A trickle of immigrants from other communities has also arrived, including Indian Jews and others, as well as some descendants of Ashkenazi Holocaust survivors who had settled in countries such as the United States, Argentina, Australia, Chile, and South Africa. Jews_sentence_210

Some Jews have emigrated from Israel elsewhere, because of economic problems or disillusionment with political conditions and the continuing Arab–Israeli conflict. Jews_sentence_211

Jewish Israeli emigrants are known as yordim. Jews_sentence_212

Diaspora (outside Israel) Jews_section_17

Main article: Jewish diaspora Jews_sentence_213

The waves of immigration to the United States and elsewhere at the turn of the 19th century, the founding of Zionism and later events, including pogroms in Imperial Russia (mostly within the Pale of Settlement in present-day Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Poland), the massacre of European Jewry during the Holocaust, and the founding of the state of Israel, with the subsequent Jewish exodus from Arab lands, all resulted in substantial shifts in the population centers of world Jewry by the end of the 20th century. Jews_sentence_214

More than half of the Jews live in the Diaspora (see Population table). Jews_sentence_215

Currently, the largest Jewish community outside Israel, and either the largest or second-largest Jewish community in the world, is located in the United States, with 5.2 million to 6.4 million Jews by various estimates. Jews_sentence_216

Elsewhere in the Americas, there are also large Jewish populations in Canada (315,000), Argentina (180,000–300,000), and Brazil (196,000–600,000), and smaller populations in Mexico, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia and several other countries (see History of the Jews in Latin America). Jews_sentence_217

According to a 2010 Pew Research Center study, about 470,000 people of Jewish heritage live in Latin-America and the Caribbean. Jews_sentence_218

Demographers disagree on whether the United States has a larger Jewish population than Israel, with many maintaining that Israel surpassed the United States in Jewish population during the 2000s, while others maintain that the United States still has the largest Jewish population in the world. Jews_sentence_219

Currently, a major national Jewish population survey is planned to ascertain whether or not Israel has overtaken the United States in Jewish population. Jews_sentence_220

Western Europe's largest Jewish community, and the third-largest Jewish community in the world, can be found in France, home to between 483,000 and 500,000 Jews, the majority of whom are immigrants or refugees from North African countries such as Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia (or their descendants). Jews_sentence_221

The United Kingdom has a Jewish community of 292,000. Jews_sentence_222

In Eastern Europe, the exact figures are difficult to establish. Jews_sentence_223

The number of Jews in Russia varies widely according to whether a source uses census data (which requires a person to choose a single nationality among choices that include "Russian" and "Jewish") or eligibility for immigration to Israel (which requires that a person have one or more Jewish grandparents). Jews_sentence_224

According to the latter criteria, the heads of the Russian Jewish community assert that up to 1.5 million Russians are eligible for aliyah. Jews_sentence_225

In Germany, the 102,000 Jews registered with the Jewish community are a slowly declining population, despite the immigration of tens of thousands of Jews from the former Soviet Union since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Jews_sentence_226

Thousands of Israelis also live in Germany, either permanently or temporarily, for economic reasons. Jews_sentence_227

Prior to 1948, approximately 800,000 Jews were living in lands which now make up the Arab world (excluding Israel). Jews_sentence_228

Of these, just under two-thirds lived in the French-controlled Maghreb region, 15 to 20 percent in the Kingdom of Iraq, approximately 10 percent in the Kingdom of Egypt and approximately 7 percent in the Kingdom of Yemen. Jews_sentence_229

A further 200,000 lived in Pahlavi Iran and the Republic of Turkey. Jews_sentence_230

Today, around 26,000 Jews live in Arab countries and around 30,000 in Iran and Turkey. Jews_sentence_231

A small-scale exodus had begun in many countries in the early decades of the 20th century, although the only substantial aliyah came from Yemen and Syria. Jews_sentence_232

The exodus from Arab and Muslim countries took place primarily from 1948. Jews_sentence_233

The first large-scale exoduses took place in the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily in Iraq, Yemen and Libya, with up to 90 percent of these communities leaving within a few years. Jews_sentence_234

The peak of the exodus from Egypt occurred in 1956. Jews_sentence_235

The exodus in the Maghreb countries peaked in the 1960s. Jews_sentence_236

Lebanon was the only Arab country to see a temporary increase in its Jewish population during this period, due to an influx of refugees from other Arab countries, although by the mid-1970s the Jewish community of Lebanon had also dwindled. Jews_sentence_237

In the aftermath of the exodus wave from Arab states, an additional migration of Iranian Jews peaked in the 1980s when around 80 percent of Iranian Jews left the country. Jews_sentence_238

Outside Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and the rest of Asia, there are significant Jewish populations in Australia (112,500) and South Africa (70,000). Jews_sentence_239

There is also a 6,800-strong community in New Zealand. Jews_sentence_240

Demographic changes Jews_section_18

Main article: Historical Jewish population comparisons Jews_sentence_241

Assimilation Jews_section_19

Main articles: Jewish assimilation and Interfaith marriage in Judaism Jews_sentence_242

Since at least the time of the Ancient Greeks, a proportion of Jews have assimilated into the wider non-Jewish society around them, by either choice or force, ceasing to practice Judaism and losing their Jewish identity. Jews_sentence_243

Assimilation took place in all areas, and during all time periods, with some Jewish communities, for example the Kaifeng Jews of China, disappearing entirely. Jews_sentence_244

The advent of the Jewish Enlightenment of the 18th century (see Haskalah) and the subsequent emancipation of the Jewish populations of Europe and America in the 19th century, accelerated the situation, encouraging Jews to increasingly participate in, and become part of, secular society. Jews_sentence_245

The result has been a growing trend of assimilation, as Jews marry non-Jewish spouses and stop participating in the Jewish community. Jews_sentence_246

Rates of interreligious marriage vary widely: In the United States, it is just under 50 percent, in the United Kingdom, around 53 percent; in France; around 30 percent, and in Australia and Mexico, as low as 10 percent. Jews_sentence_247

In the United States, only about a third of children from intermarriages affiliate with Jewish religious practice. Jews_sentence_248

The result is that most countries in the Diaspora have steady or slightly declining religiously Jewish populations as Jews continue to assimilate into the countries in which they live. Jews_sentence_249

War and persecution Jews_section_20

Further information: Persecution of Jews, Antisemitism, and Jewish military history Jews_sentence_250

The Jewish people and Judaism have experienced various persecutions throughout Jewish history. Jews_sentence_251

During Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages the Roman Empire (in its later phases known as the Byzantine Empire) repeatedly repressed the Jewish population, first by ejecting them from their homelands during the pagan Roman era and later by officially establishing them as second-class citizens during the Christian Roman era. Jews_sentence_252

According to James Carroll, "Jews accounted for 10% of the total population of the Roman Empire. Jews_sentence_253

By that ratio, if other factors had not intervened, there would be 200 million Jews in the world today, instead of something like 13 million." Jews_sentence_254

Later in medieval Western Europe, further persecutions of Jews by Christians occurred, notably during the Crusades—when Jews all over Germany were massacred—and a series of expulsions from the Kingdom of England, Germany, France, and, in the largest expulsion of all, Spain and Portugal after the Reconquista (the Catholic Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula), where both unbaptized Sephardic Jews and the ruling Muslim Moors were expelled. Jews_sentence_255

In the Papal States, which existed until 1870, Jews were required to live only in specified neighborhoods called ghettos. Jews_sentence_256

Islam and Judaism have a complex relationship. Jews_sentence_257

Traditionally Jews and Christians living in Muslim lands, known as dhimmis, were allowed to practice their religions and administer their internal affairs, but they were subject to certain conditions. Jews_sentence_258

They had to pay the jizya (a per capita tax imposed on free adult non-Muslim males) to the Islamic state. Jews_sentence_259

Dhimmis had an inferior status under Islamic rule. Jews_sentence_260

They had several social and legal disabilities such as prohibitions against bearing arms or giving testimony in courts in cases involving Muslims. Jews_sentence_261

Many of the disabilities were highly symbolic. Jews_sentence_262

The one described by Bernard Lewis as "most degrading" was the requirement of distinctive clothing, not found in the Quran or hadith but invented in early medieval Baghdad; its enforcement was highly erratic. Jews_sentence_263

On the other hand, Jews rarely faced martyrdom or exile, or forced compulsion to change their religion, and they were mostly free in their choice of residence and profession. Jews_sentence_264

Notable exceptions include the massacre of Jews and forcible conversion of some Jews by the rulers of the Almohad dynasty in Al-Andalus in the 12th century, as well as in Islamic Persia, and the forced confinement of Moroccan Jews to walled quarters known as mellahs beginning from the 15th century and especially in the early 19th century. Jews_sentence_265

In modern times, it has become commonplace for standard antisemitic themes to be conflated with anti-Zionist publications and pronouncements of Islamic movements such as Hezbollah and Hamas, in the pronouncements of various agencies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and even in the newspapers and other publications of Turkish Refah Partisi." Jews_sentence_266

Throughout history, many rulers, empires and nations have oppressed their Jewish populations or sought to eliminate them entirely. Jews_sentence_267

Methods employed ranged from expulsion to outright genocide; within nations, often the threat of these extreme methods was sufficient to silence dissent. Jews_sentence_268

The history of antisemitism includes the First Crusade which resulted in the massacre of Jews; the Spanish Inquisition (led by Tomás de Torquemada) and the Portuguese Inquisition, with their persecution and autos-da-fé against the New Christians and Marrano Jews; the Bohdan Chmielnicki Cossack massacres in Ukraine; the Pogroms backed by the Russian Tsars; as well as expulsions from Spain, Portugal, England, France, Germany, and other countries in which the Jews had settled. Jews_sentence_269

According to a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, 19.8 percent of the modern Iberian population has Sephardic Jewish ancestry, indicating that the number of conversos may have been much higher than originally thought. Jews_sentence_270

The persecution reached a peak in Nazi Germany's Final Solution, which led to the Holocaust and the slaughter of approximately 6 million Jews. Jews_sentence_271

Of the world's 15 million Jews in 1939, more than a third were murdered in the Holocaust. Jews_sentence_272

The Holocaust—the state-led systematic persecution and genocide of European Jews (and certain communities of North African Jews in European controlled North Africa) and other minority groups of Europe during World War II by Germany and its collaborators remains the most notable modern-day persecution of Jews. Jews_sentence_273

The persecution and genocide were accomplished in stages. Jews_sentence_274

Legislation to remove the Jews from civil society was enacted years before the outbreak of World War II. Jews_sentence_275

Concentration camps were established in which inmates were used as slave labour until they died of exhaustion or disease. Jews_sentence_276

Where the Third Reich conquered new territory in Eastern Europe, specialized units called Einsatzgruppen murdered Jews and political opponents in mass shootings. Jews_sentence_277

Jews and Roma were crammed into ghettos before being transported hundreds of kilometres by freight train to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, the majority of them were murdered in gas chambers. Jews_sentence_278

Virtually every arm of Germany's bureaucracy was involved in the logistics of the mass murder, turning the country into what one Holocaust scholar has called "a genocidal nation." Jews_sentence_279

Migrations Jews_section_21

Further information: Expulsions of Jews Jews_sentence_280

Throughout Jewish history, Jews have repeatedly been directly or indirectly expelled from both their original homeland, the Land of Israel, and many of the areas in which they have settled. Jews_sentence_281

This experience as refugees has shaped Jewish identity and religious practice in many ways, and is thus a major element of Jewish history. Jews_sentence_282

The patriarch Abraham is described as a migrant to the land of Canaan from Ur of the Chaldees after an attempt on his life by King Nimrod. Jews_sentence_283

His descendants, the Children of Israel, in the Biblical story (whose historicity is uncertain) undertook the Exodus (meaning "departure" or "exit" in Greek) from ancient Egypt, as recorded in the Book of Exodus. Jews_sentence_284

Centuries later, Assyrian policy was to deport and displace conquered peoples, and it is estimated some 4,500,000 among captive populations suffered this dislocation over 3 centuries of Assyrian rule. Jews_sentence_285

With regard to Israel, Tiglath-Pileser III claims he deported 80  of the population of Lower Galilee, some 13,520 people. Jews_sentence_286

Some 27,000 Israelites, 20 to 25  of the population of the Kingdom of Israel, were described as being deported by Sargon II, and were replaced by other deported populations and sent into permanent exile by Assyria, initially to the Upper Mesopotamian provinces of the Assyrian Empire, Between 10,000 and 80,000 people from the Kingdom of Judah were similarly exiled by Babylonia, but these people were then returned to Judea by Cyrus the Great of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. Jews_sentence_287

Many Jews were exiled again by the Roman Empire. Jews_sentence_288

The 2,000 year dispersion of the Jewish diaspora beginning under the Roman Empire, as Jews were spread throughout the Roman world and, driven from land to land, settled wherever they could live freely enough to practice their religion. Jews_sentence_289

Over the course of the diaspora the center of Jewish life moved from Babylonia to the Iberian Peninsula to Poland to the United States and, as a result of Zionism, back to Israel. Jews_sentence_290

There were also many expulsions of Jews during the Middle Ages and Enlightenment in Europe, including: 1290, 16,000 Jews were expelled from England, see the (Statute of Jewry); in 1396, 100,000 from France; in 1421 thousands were expelled from Austria. Jews_sentence_291

Many of these Jews settled in Eastern Europe, especially Poland. Jews_sentence_292

Following the Spanish Inquisition in 1492, the Spanish population of around 200,000 Sephardic Jews were expelled by the Spanish crown and Catholic church, followed by expulsions in 1493 in Sicily (37,000 Jews) and Portugal in 1496. Jews_sentence_293

The expelled Jews fled mainly to the Ottoman Empire, the Netherlands, and North Africa, others migrating to Southern Europe and the Middle East. Jews_sentence_294

During the 19th century, France's policies of equal citizenship regardless of religion led to the immigration of Jews (especially from Eastern and Central Europe). Jews_sentence_295

This contributed to the arrival of millions of Jews in the New World. Jews_sentence_296

Over two million Eastern European Jews arrived in the United States from 1880 to 1925. Jews_sentence_297

In summary, the pogroms in Eastern Europe, the rise of modern antisemitism, the Holocaust, and the rise of Arab nationalism all served to fuel the movements and migrations of huge segments of Jewry from land to land and continent to continent, until they arrived back in large numbers at their original historical homeland in Israel. Jews_sentence_298

In the latest phase of migrations, the Islamic Revolution of Iran caused many Iranian Jews to flee Iran. Jews_sentence_299

Most found refuge in the US (particularly Los Angeles, California and Long Island, New York) and Israel. Jews_sentence_300

Smaller communities of Persian Jews exist in Canada and Western Europe. Jews_sentence_301

Similarly, when the Soviet Union collapsed, many of the Jews in the affected territory (who had been refuseniks) were suddenly allowed to leave. Jews_sentence_302

This produced a wave of migration to Israel in the early 1990s. Jews_sentence_303

Growth Jews_section_22

Israel is the only country with a Jewish population that is consistently growing through natural population growth, although the Jewish populations of other countries, in Europe and North America, have recently increased through immigration. Jews_sentence_304

In the Diaspora, in almost every country the Jewish population in general is either declining or steady, but Orthodox and Haredi Jewish communities, whose members often shun birth control for religious reasons, have experienced rapid population growth. Jews_sentence_305

Orthodox and Conservative Judaism discourage proselytism to non-Jews, but many Jewish groups have tried to reach out to the assimilated Jewish communities of the Diaspora in order for them to reconnect to their Jewish roots. Jews_sentence_306

Additionally, while in principle Reform Judaism favors seeking new members for the faith, this position has not translated into active proselytism, instead taking the form of an effort to reach out to non-Jewish spouses of intermarried couples. Jews_sentence_307

There is also a trend of Orthodox movements reaching out to secular Jews in order to give them a stronger Jewish identity so there is less chance of intermarriage. Jews_sentence_308

As a result of the efforts by these and other Jewish groups over the past 25 years, there has been a trend (known as the Baal teshuva movement) for secular Jews to become more religiously observant, though the demographic implications of the trend are unknown. Jews_sentence_309

Additionally, there is also a growing rate of conversion to Jews by Choice of gentiles who make the decision to head in the direction of becoming Jews. Jews_sentence_310

Contributions Jews_section_23

Jews have made many contributions to humanity in a broad and diverse range of fields, including the sciences, arts, politics, and business. Jews_sentence_311

For example, over 20 percent of Nobel Prize laureates have been of Jewish descent, with multiple winners in each category. Jews_sentence_312

Jewish people have also won Fields Medals, ACM Turing Awards, World chess championships including 8 of the top 100 world chess players, and Westinghouse Science Talent Search awards. Jews_sentence_313

See also Jews_section_24

Jews_unordered_list_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jews.