Israelites live in America

The world's Jewish population is approaching the level it had before the Shoah. According to a report by the Jerusalem Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), around 14.2 million Jews lived around the world at the beginning of the year. Before the Holocaust it was 16.6 million.

The JPPI report breaks down how many Jews live in each country today: Israel is in first place with around 6.1 million Jewish inhabitants. This is followed by the USA with 5.7 million, France with 475,000, Canada with 385,000, Great Britain with 290,000 and Russia with 186,000.

The study gives the number of Jews living in Germany at 118,000. This contradicts information made in the spring: According to the statistics of the Central Welfare Office for Jews in Germany (ZWST), the Jewish communities in the Federal Republic had around 100,000 members at the end of 2014. Estimates assume that a total of around 200,000 Jews currently live in Germany.

Background As the Israeli news portal Ynet reports, the JPPI figures for "Jews living in Israel are based on halachic criteria", but for Jews in the diaspora on "self-identification". According to the study, the world’s Jewish population has grown by eight percent in the past ten years - the highest rate of increase since the end of World War II.

In a summary of the study it says: "If we include those who see themselves as partially Jewish, as well as new immigrants to Israel who are not halachic but fall under the right of return," then almost as many Jews lived worldwide today as immediately before the second World War.

Israel’s leading demography researcher Sergio DellaPergola criticizes the JPPI report. He throws "apples and oranges" in the same pot, according to DellaPergola. As in many conversations between Israel and the Diaspora, it is once again "about the forever unanswerable question: Who is a Jew?" Yes