Daily Israel Report

Study: More Jews in US Than in Israel

A new population study conducted by two US universities claims that more Jews still live in the United States than in Israel.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 10/24/2010, 9:42 AM / Last Update: 10/24/2010, 9:59 AM

Israel news photo

A new population study conducted by the University of Miami and University of Connecticut says more Jews still live in the United States than in Israel. “Jewish Population in the United States – 2010” estimates the total number of Jews in the U.S. at approximately 6.5 million.

However, the authors of the study, Miami U. Professor Dr. Ira M. Sheskin, director of the project, and Connectiut U.Professor Dr. Arnold Dashefsky, say they believe the figure is inaccurate, and the total is less – approximately 6.4 million.

Just before Rosh HaShanah this year, official census figures in Israel estimated the number of Israeli Jews was nearing six million, having risen to a total of 5,770,900 – an increase of nearly 67,000 from 2009.

However, said Sheskin, “The World Report will claim the opposite.” He added that the discrepancy was due to the method of data collection. “While the World Report uses national studies for its estimate, the U.S. Report sums up estimates of the Jewish population in over 1,000 local Jewish communities to develop a national estimate.” 

Previously collected data was used to analyze Jewish populations by U.S. Congressional districts for the first time, according to Dashefsky. “We continue to add new scientific estimates and discover new concentrations of Jews in local communities,” he said.

The report, which included a number of new elements, compared local Jewish communities using four different criteria:

• Percentage of persons in Jewish households in a community age 65 and over
• Percentage of adult children who remain in their parents’ community when they establish their own homes
• Emotional attachment to Israel
• Percentage and number of Holocaust survivors and children of survivors

Sheskin, a professor of geography and regional studies, is also director of the Jewish Demography Project at the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami. Dashefsky, his co-author, is a professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut and director of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life at the university.

The report, available by clicking here, was published by the Mandell L. Berman-North American Jewish Data Bank at the University of Connecticut, in coordination with the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry (ASSJ) and Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).