ShareThis Page
World

Jewish population near pre-World War II level

| Sunday, June 28, 2015, 9:21 p.m.

JERUSALEM — The world's Jewish population has grown to be nearly as large as it was before the Holocaust, an Israeli think tank said Sunday in its annual report.

The Jewish People Policy Institute said there are 14.2 million Jews in the world. When factoring in individuals with one Jewish parent and others who identify as partially Jewish, the figure approaches 16.5 million — the Jewish population on the eve of World War II. The Nazis and their collaborators killed about 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.

The report said the rise has occurred, thanks in part to natural growth, mainly in Israel, which has about 6.1 million Jews and one of the Western world's highest fertility rates.

But it linked the growth to “changing patterns of Jewish identification.” It said that 59 percent of adult children in the United States who have just one Jewish parent now identify as Jewish, a majority “for the first time in memory.”

Avinoam Bar-Yosef, the institute's president, said more of those Jews are identifying as Jewish because it is more “respectable” to be Jewish in the United States than it was years ago. He also said Birthright-Israel, which organizes educational trips to Israel for young Jewish people, is likely having an impact.

The tally combines the number of Jews worldwide, but it also includes at least one million secular Jews who are less likely to be connected to Jewish life or institutions. And it includes some 350,000 Israelis who emigrated from the former Soviet Union and are not considered Jewish in Israel. The Pew Research Center, whose count only includes Jews who self-identify as Jewish, projects that Jews will reach 16 million by 2050.

The United States has the world's second largest Jewish population, at 5.7 million. France is a distant third with about 475,000 Jews, followed by Canada.

The report, which was presented to the Israeli cabinet, dubs itself an “annual stocktaking of the Jewish world.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me