Israel’s Jewish population crossed the 6 million mark during Passover, a symbolic sign of peaceful vengeance for the approximately same number of Jews who were exterminated by the Nazi regime.
The Israel Jewish community, which compromises approximately 75 percent of the total population outside of Judea and Samaria, now is the largest in the world, depending on one’s definition of “Who is a Jew?”
The American Jewish population is estimated by most sources as being 5.5 million, while it is up to 2 million larger if one includes as Jewish those who were born to Jewish fathers but not to Jewish fathers and those who were not converted according to Jewish tradition.
The largest American Jewish population center is in New York City, with approximately 2 million. followed by nearly half a million in Paris.
There are approximately 380,000 Jews in Canada, with most of them living in metropolitan Toronto. Next in Line is Britain’s 290,000 Jews.
“In the world today there are 13,800,000 Jews,” Hebrew University Professor Sergio Della Pergola told the Yediot Acharonot newspaper.
“Israel has indeed experienced a growth in the number of Jews last year, but world Jewry outside Israel did not fare so well. On the contrary, world Jewry has experienced negative growth,” reflecting assimilation.
Although most of the world’s Jews live outside Israel, Israeli historian and author Tom Segev told the London Daily Telegraph, “Within five, seven or 10 years, you might be able to say that most Jews in the world live inside Israel, and it will be legitimate to use the cliché that for the first time in 2,000 years, the Jews are in Israel. Then the question will be, what do you do with the Zionist ideology?”
Israelis are attracted to metropolitan Tel Aviv, but massive government programs, including new highways and rail links, are trying to reverse the trend and encourage Jews to settle in the Negev and the Galilee.Jewish Press News Briefs