The Info List - Israelis

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ISRAELIS (Hebrew : ישראלים‎ _Yiśraʾelim_, Arabic : الإسرائيليين‎‎ _al-ʾIsrāʾīliyyin_) are citizens or permanent residents of the State of Israel
, a multiethnic state populated by people of different ethnic backgrounds . The largest ethnic groups in Israel
are Jews (75%), followed by Arabs (20%) and other minorities (5%). Among the Jewish population, hundreds of thousands of Jews born in Israel
are descended from both Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews . More than 50% of the Jewish population is of at least partial Mizrahi descent.

Large-scale Jewish immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from Jewish diaspora communities in Europe and the Middle East and more recent large-scale immigration from North Africa, Western Asia, North America, South America, the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia introduced many new cultural elements and have had profound impact on the Israeli culture .

Israelis and people of Israeli descent live across the world : in the United States, Russia
(with Moscow housing the single largest community outside Israel), India, Canada, the United Kingdom, throughout Europe, and elsewhere. Almost 10% of the general population of Israel
is estimated to be living abroad.


* 1 Population

* 2 Ethnic and religious groups

* 2.1 Jews

* 2.2 Arabic-speaking minorities

* 2.2.1 Palestinians * 2.2.2 Negev Bedouin * 2.2.3 Druze * 2.2.4 Maronites * 2.2.5 Copts * 2.2.6 Arameans * 2.2.7 Armenians * 2.2.8 Assyrians * 2.2.9 Circassians

* 2.3 Other citizens

* 2.3.1 Samaritans * 2.3.2 African Hebrew Israelites * 2.3.3 Caucasians * 2.3.4 East Europeans * 2.3.5 Finns * 2.3.6 Vietnamese * 2.3.7 Naturalized foreign workers

* 2.4 Non-citizens

* 2.4.1 African refugees * 2.4.2 Foreign workers * 2.4.3 Other refugees

* 2.5 Israeli diaspora

* 2.5.1 United States * 2.5.2 Russia
* 2.5.3 Canada * 2.5.4 United Kingdom

* 2.6 2013 Supreme Court ruling on nationality

* 3 History

* 4 Culture

* 4.1 Religion

* 5 Languages * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links


Main article: Demographics of Israel

As of 2013, Israel's population is 8 million, of which the Israeli civil government records 75.3% as Jews , 20.7% as non- Jewish Arabs , and 4.0% other. Israel's official census includes Israeli settlers in the occupied territories (referred to as "disputed " by Israel). 280,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements in the Judea and Samaria Area , 190,000 in East Jerusalem , and 20,000 in the Golan Heights .

Among Jews, 70.3% were born in Israel
(_sabras_), mostly from the second or third generation of their family in the country, and the rest are Jewish immigrants . Of the Jewish immigrants, 20.5% were from Europe and the Americas, and 9.2% were from Asia, Africa, and Middle Eastern countries . Nearly half of all Israeli Jews are descended from immigrants from the European Jewish diaspora. Approximately the same number are descended from immigrants from Arab countries, Iran, Turkey and Central Asia. Over 200,000 are of Ethiopian and Indian- Jewish descent.

The official Israel
Central Bureau of Statistics estimate of the Israeli Jewish population does not include those Israeli citizens, mostly descended from immigrants from the Soviet Union , who are registered as "others", or their immediate family members. Defined as non- Jews and non-Arabs, they make up about 3.5% of Israelis (350,000), and were eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return.

Israel's two official languages are Hebrew and Arabic . Hebrew is the primary language of government and is spoken by the majority of the population. Arabic is spoken by the Arab minority and by some members of the Mizrahi Jewish community. English is studied in school and is spoken by the majority of the population as a second language. Other languages spoken in Israel
include Russian , Yiddish , Spanish , Ladino , Amharic , Armenian , Romanian , and French .

In recent decades, between 650,000 and 1,300,000 Israelis have emigrated, a phenomenon known in Hebrew as _yerida _ ("descent", in contrast to _aliyah_, which means "ascent"). Emigrants have various reasons for leaving, but there is generally a combination of economic and political concerns. Los Angeles is home to the largest community of Israelis outside Israel.


The main Israeli ethnic and religious groups are as follows:


Main articles: Israeli Jews and Jewish ethnic divisions

_ THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS HEBREW TEXT . Without proper rendering support , you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Hebrew letters.

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_ Israeli girls in the 1960s, eating matzot _—unleavened bread traditionally eaten by Jews during Passover

The CBS traces the paternal country of origin of Israeli Jews as of 2010 is as follows.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN Born abroad Israeli born TOTAL %

TOTAL 1,610,900 4,124,400 5,753,300 100.0%

_ Asia _ _201,000_ _494,200_ _695,200_ _12.0%_

Turkey 25,700 52,500 78,100 1.4%

Iraq 62,600 173,300 235,800 4.1%

Yemen 28,400 111,100 139,500 2.4%

Iran /Afghanistan 49,300 92,300 141,600 2.5%

India /Pakistan 17,600 29,000 46,600 0.8%

Syria / Lebanon 10,700 25,000 35,700 0.6%

Other 6,700 11,300 18,000 0.3%

_Africa _ _315,800_ _572,100_ _887,900_ _15.4%_

Morocco 153,600 339,600 493,200 8.6%

Algeria /Tunisia 43,200 91,700 134,900 2.3%

Libya 15,800 53,500 69,400 1.2%

Egypt 18,500 39,000 57,500 1.0%

Ethiopia 81,600 38,600 110,100 1.9%

Other 13,100 9,700 22,800 0.4%

_Europe / Americas /Oceania _ _1,094,100_ _829,700_ _1,923,800_ _33.4%_

Soviet Union 651,400 241,000 892,400 15.5%

Poland 51,300 151,000 202,300 3.5%

Romania 88,600 125,900 214,400 3.7%

Bulgaria /Greece 16,400 32,600 49,000 0.9%

Germany /Austria 24,500 50,600 75,200 1.3%

Czech Republic /Slovakia /Hungary 20,000 45,000 64,900 1.1%

France 41,100 26,900 68,000 1.2%

United Kingdom 21,000 19,900 40,800 0.7%

Europe, other 27,000 29,900 56,900 1.0%

North America/Oceania 90,500 63,900 154,400 2.7%

Argentina 35,500 26,100 61,600 1.1%

Latin America , other 26,900 17,000 43,900 0.8%

_ Israel
_ — _2,246,300_ _2,246,300_ _39.0%_


Main article: Arab citizens of Israel
Distribution of Arabic speaking localities in Israel


A fraction of Palestinians remained within Israel's borders following the 1948 Palestinian exodus and are the largest group of Arabic-speaking and culturally Arab citizens of Israel. The vast majority of the Arab citizens of Israel
are Sunni Muslim, while 9% of them are Christian .

As of 2013, the Arab population of Israel
amounts to 1,658,000, about 20.7% of the population. This figure include 209,000 Arabs (14% of the Israeli Arab population) in East Jerusalem, also counted in the Palestinian statistics, although 98 percent of East Jerusalem Palestinians have either Israeli residency or Israeli citizenship.

Negev Bedouin

Main article: Negev Bedouin

The Arab citizens of Israel
also include the Bedouin . Israeli Bedouin include those who live in the north of the country, for the most part in villages and towns, and the Bedouin in the Negev , who are semi-nomadic or live in towns or unrecognized Bedouin villages . In 1999, 110,000 Bedouin lived in the Negev, 50,000 in the Galilee and 10,000 in the central region of Israel. As of 2013, the Negev Bedouin number 200,000-210,000.


Main article: Israeli Druze Sheikh Amin Tarif , spiritual leader of the Israeli Druze, c. 1950

There is also a significant population of Israeli Druze , estimated at about 117,500 at the end of 2006. All Druze in British Mandate Palestine became Israeli citizens upon the foundation of the State of Israel.


Main article: Maronites in Israel

There are about 7,000 Maronite Christian Israelis, living mostly in the Galilee but also in Haifa , Nazareth , and Jerusalem . They are mostly pro-Israeli Lebanese former militia members and their families who fled Lebanon after the 2000 withdrawal of IDF from South Lebanon . Some, however, are from local Galilean communities such as Jish .


There are about 1,000 Coptic Israeli citizens.


Main article: Arameans in Israel

In September 2014, Israel
recognized the "Aramean" ethnic identity of hundreds of the Christian citizens of Israel. This recognition comes after about seven years of activity by the Aramean Christian Foundation in Israel
– Aram, led by IDF Major Shadi Khalloul Risho and the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum, headed by Father Gabriel Naddaf of the Greek-Orthodox Church and Major Ihab Shlayan. The Aramean ethnic identity will now encompass all the Christian Eastern Syriac churches in Israel, including the Maronite Church , Greek Orthodox Church, Greek Catholic Church, Syriac Catholic Church and Syriac Orthodox Church.


Main article: Armenians in Israel

There are about 4,000 Armenian citizens of Israel. They live mostly in Jerusalem, including the Armenian Quarter ), but also in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jaffa. Their religious activities center around the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem as well as churches in Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa. Although Armenians of Old Jerusalem have Israeli identity cards, they are officially holders of Jordanian passports.


Main article: Assyrians in Israel

There are around 1,000 Assyrians living in Israel, mostly in Jerusalem and Nazareth . Assyrians are an Aramaic speaking, Eastern Rite Christian minority who are descended from the ancient Mesopotamians . The old Syriac Orthodox monastery of Saint Mark lies in Jerusalem. Other than followers of the Syriac Orthodox Church, there are also followers of the Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church living in Israel.


Main article: Circassians in Israel
Circassians in Kfar Kama

In Israel
, there are also a few thousand Circassians , living mostly in Kfar Kama (2,000) and Reyhaniye (1,000). These two villages were a part of a greater group of Circassian villages around the Golan Heights . The Circassians in Israel
enjoy, like Druzes , a _status aparte_. Male Circassians (at their leader's request) are mandated for military service, while females are not.



Main article: Samaritans Sofi Tsedaka from the Samaritan community

The Samaritans are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant. Ancestrally, they are descended from a group of Israelite inhabitants who have connections to ancient Samaria from the beginning of the Babylonian captivity up to the beginning of the Common Era. Population estimates made in 2007 show that of the 712 Samaritans, half live in Holon in Israel
and half at Mount Gerizim in the West Bank. The Holon community holds Israeli citizenship, while the Gerizim community resides at an Israeli-controlled enclave ( Kiryat Luza ), holding dual Israeli-Palestinian citizenship.

African Hebrew Israelites

Main article: African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem

The African Hebrew Israelite Nation of Jerusalem is a small religious community whose members believe they are descended from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel
. Most of the over 5,000 members live in Dimona, Israel
although there are additional, smaller, groups in Arad , Mitzpe Ramon , and the Tiberias area. At least some of them consider themselves to be Jewish, but Israeli authorities do not accept them as such, nor are their religious practices consistent with "mainstream Jewish tradition." The group, which consists of African Americans and their descendants, originated in Chicago in the early 1960s, moved to Liberia for a few years, and then immigrated to Israel.


A number of immigrants also belong to various non-Slavic ethnic groups from the Former Soviet Union such as Tatars , Armenians , and Georgians .

East Europeans

Non- Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union most of whom are Zera Yisrael (descendants of Jews) who are Russians , Ukrainians , Moldovans and Belarusians , who were eligible to immigrate due to having, or being married to somebody who has, at least one Jewish grandparent. In addition, a certain number of former Soviet citizens, primarily women of Russian and Ukrainian ethnicity, immigrated to Israel
after marrying Arab citizens of Israel
who went to study in the former Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s. The total number of those primarily of Slavic ancestry among Israeli citizens is around 300,000.


Although most Finns in Israel
are either Finnish Jews or their descendents, a small number of Finnish Christians moved to Israel
in the 1940s before the independence of the state and have since gained citizenship. For the most part the original Finnish settlers intermarried with other Israeli communities, and therefore remain very small in number. A _moshav_ near Jerusalem named " Yad HaShmona ", meaning the Memorial for the eight, was established in 1971 by a group of Finnish Christian Israelis, though today most members are Israeli, and predominantly Hebrew-speaking.


The number of Vietnamese people in Israel
is estimated at 200–400. Most of them came to Israel
between 1976 and 1979, after the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin granted them political asylum. The Vietnamese people living in Israel
are Israeli citizens who also serve in the Israel
Defense Forces . Today, the majority of the community lives in the Gush Dan area in the center of Israel
but also a few dozen Vietnamese- Israelis or Israelis of Vietnamese origin live in Haifa , Jerusalem and Ofakim .

Naturalized Foreign Workers

Israel's residents include some naturalized foreign workers and their children born in Israel, predominantly from the Philippines , Nepal , Nigeria , Senegal , Romania , China , Cyprus , Turkey , Thailand and Latin America .


African Refugees

Further information: Sudanese refugees in Israel
Meeting between Sudanese refugees and Israeli students, 2007

The number and status of African refugees in Israel
is disputed and controversial, but it is estimated that at least 16,000 refugees, mainly from Eritrea , Sudan , South Sudan , Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast , reside and work in Israel. A check in late 2011, published in Ynet reported that the number just in Tel Aviv is 40,000, which represents 10 percent of the city's population. The vast majority lives in the southern parts of the city. There is also a significant African population in the southern Israeli cities of Eilat, Arad and Beer Sheva.

Foreign Workers

There are around 300,000 foreign workers, residing in Israel
under temporary work visas. Most of these foreign workers engage in agriculture and construction—they are mostly from China, Thailand, the Philippines, Nigeria, Romania and Latin America.

Other Refugees

Approximately 100–200 refugees from Bosnia , Kosovo , Kurdistan and North Korea live in Israel
as refugees, most of them with Israeli resident status.


See also: Yerida

Through the years, the majority of Israelis who emigrated from Israel went to the United States , Canada and the United Kingdom .

It is currently estimated that there are 330,000 native-born Israelis, including 230,000 Jews, living abroad, or even more. The number of immigrants to Israel
who later returned to their home countries or moved elsewhere is more difficult to calculate.

For many years definitive data on Israeli emigration was unavailable. In _The Israeli Diaspora_ sociologist Stephen J. Gold maintains that calculation of Jewish emigration has been a contentious issue, explaining, "Since Zionism, the philosophy that underlies the existence of the Jewish state, calls for return home of the world's Jews, the opposite movement - Israelis leaving the Jewish state to reside elsewhere - clearly presents an ideological and demographic problem."

Among the most common reasons for emigration of Israelis from Israel are most often due to Israel's ongoing security issues, economic constraints, economic characteristics, disappointment in the Israeli government, as well as the excessive role of religion in the lives of Israelis.

United States

See also: Israeli American

Many Israelis immigrated to the United States throughout the period of the declaration of the state of Israel
and until today. Today, the descendants of these people are known as Israeli-Americans. According to the 2000 United States Census , 106,839 Americans also hold Israeli citizenship, but the number of Americans of Israeli descent is around half a million.


Moscow has the largest single Israeli expatriate community in the world, with 80,000 Israeli citizens living in the city as of 2014, almost all of them native Russian-speakers. Many Israeli cultural events are hosted for the community, and many live part of the year in Israel. (To cater to the Israeli community, Israeli cultural centres are located in Moscow , Saint Petersburg , Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg .)


See also: Israeli Canadian

Many Israelis immigrated to Canada throughout the period of the declaration of the state of Israel
and until today. Today, the descendants of these people are known as Israeli-Canadians. According to the Canada 2006 Census as many as 21,320 Israelis lived in Canada in 2006.

United Kingdom

See also: Israelis in the United Kingdom

Many Israelis immigrated to the United Kingdom throughout and since the period of the declaration of the state of Israel
. Today, the descendants of these people are known as Israeli-British. According to the United Kingdom 2001 Census , as many as 11,892 Israelis lived in the United Kingdom in 2001. The majority live in London .


In 2013 a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court of Israel
's headed by Court President Asher Grunis rejected an appeal requesting that state-issued identification cards state the nationality of citizens as "Israeli" rather than their religion of origin. In his opinion, Grunis stated that it was not within the court’s purview to determine new categories of ethnicity or nationhood. The court's decision responded to a petition by Uzzi Ornan, who refused to be identified as Jewish in 1948 at the foundation of the state of Israel, claiming instead that he was "Hebrew." This was permitted by Israeli authorities at the time. However, by 2000, Ornan wanted to register his nationality as "Israeli". The Interior Ministry refused to allow this, prompting Ornan to file a suit. In 2007, Ornan's suit was joined by former minister Shulamit Aloni and other activists. In the ruling, Justice Hanan Melcer noted Israel
currently considers "citizenship and nationality separate."


Main article: History of Israeli nationality

_ THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (October 2009)_

David Ben-Gurion proclaiming the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948

The first account of an Israeli nation is a state which dominated the modern land of Israel, the Kingdom of Israel
; its latest capital was known as the Davidian city (Jerusalem). According to the biblical account, the United Monarchy was formed when there was a large popular expression in favour of introducing a monarchy to rule over the previously decentralised Israelite tribal confederacy. Increasing pressure from the Philistines (originally from Greece) and other neighboring tribes is said by the Bible to have forced the Israelites to unite as a more singular state.

Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire until it was taken by British forces in 1918. The British establishment of colonial political boundaries allowed the Jews to develop autonomous institutions such as the Histadrut and the Knesset. Since the late nineteenth century, the Zionist movement encouraged Jews to immigrate to Palestine and refurbish its land area, considerable but partially uninhabitable due to an abundance of swamps and desert. The resulting influx of Jewish immigrants, as well as the creation of many new settlements, was crucial for the functioning of these new institutions in what would, on 14 May 1948, become the State of Israel


Main articles: Culture of Israel
and List of Israelis See also: Archaeology of Israel
, Music of Israel
, and Science and technology in Israel
Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres at the Israeli Independence Day celebration

The largest cities in the country Haifa , Tel Aviv , and Jerusalem are also the major cultural centers, known for art museums, and many towns and kibbutzim have smaller high-quality museums. Israeli music is very versatile and combines elements of both western and eastern, religious and secular music. It tends to be very eclectic and contains a wide variety of influences from the Diaspora and more modern cultural importation: Hassidic songs, Asian and Arab pop, especially by Yemenite singers, and Israeli hip hop or heavy metal . Folk dancing, which draws upon the cultural heritage of many immigrant groups, is popular. There is also flourishing modern dance.


Main article: Religion in Israel
See also: Holidays and events in Israel
Western Wall and Dome of the Rock , Jerusalem

According to the Israel
Central Bureau of Statistics, at the end of 2014, 75% of Israelis were Jewish by religion (adherents of Judaism ), 17.5% were Muslims , 2% Christian , 1.6% Druze and the remaining 3.9% (including immigrants) were not classified by religion.

Roughly 12% of Israeli Jews defined as _haredim _ (ultra-orthodox religious); an additional 9% are "religious"; 35% consider themselves "traditionalists" (not strictly adhering to Jewish religious law ); and 43% are "secular" (termed "hiloni "). Among the seculars, 53% believe in God. However, 78% of all Israelis (and virtually all Israeli Jews) participate in a Passover seder.

Unlike North American Jews, Israelis tend not to align themselves with a movement of Judaism (such as Reform Judaism or Conservative Judaism ) but instead tend to define their religious affiliation by degree of their religious practice. Israeli religious life, unlike much of North American Jewish life, does not solely revolve around synagogues or religious community centers.

Among Arab Israelis , 82.6% were Muslim (including Ahmadis ), 8.8% were Christian and 8.4% were Druze .

The Bahá\'í World Centre , which includes the Universal House of Justice , in Haifa attracts Baha'i pilgrims from all over the world.


Main article: Languages of Israel
Trilingual road sign in Israel

Due to its immigrant nature, Israel
is one of the most multicultural and multilingual societies in the world. Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages in the country, while English and Russian are the two most widely spoken non-official languages. Yiddish (2%) and French (2%) are also spoken. A certain degree of English is spoken widely, and is the language of choice for many Israeli businesses. Courses of Hebrew and English are mandatory in the Israeli matriculation exams (_bagrut_), and most schools also offer one or more out of Arabic, Spanish, German or French. The Israeli government also offers free intensive Hebrew-language courses, known as _ulpanim _ (singular _ulpan_), for new Jewish immigrants, to try to help them integrate into Israeli society.


* Demographics of Israel
* Culture of Israel
* Modern Hebrew (Israeli Hebrew)


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History Finnish associations About Finland Links Feedback Contact Front page > Finland in Israel
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. Retrieved 25 January 2014. * ^ "High court rules: It is impossible to be Israeli". Retrieved 25 January 2014. * ^ Migdal, p. 135 * ^ Migdal, p. 136 * ^ "Population by Religion". Central Bureau of Statistics. 9 October 2015. Archived from the original on 13 November 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2015. * ^ Religion in Israel: A Consensus for Jewish Tradition by Daniel J. Elazar (JCPA) * ^ Ori Stendel. _The Arabs in Israel_. Sussex A