Israeli American

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Israel Israeli Americans United States
ישראלים אמריקנים
Rahm EmanuelGene SimmonsNatalie PortmanItzhak PerlmanRobert AumannChaim TopolMiri Ben-AriOdeyaRush2011-1-.jpg
Total population
106,839[1][2] - 500,000[3][4][5]
Regions with significant populations
New York City Metropolitan Area,[6][7][8] Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, Miami Metropolitan Area, and other large metropolitan areas
American English, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian
Judaism · Islam · Christianity · Druze · Atheism

Israeli Americans (Hebrew: יִשְׂרְאֵלִים אָמֶרִיקָנִים)[citation needed] are Americans of Israeli descent or who hold Israeli citizenship.


Israelis began migrating to the United States shortly after the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. Thus, during the 1950s and early 1960s, began the first wave of Israeli immigration to the United States when more than 300,000 Israelis emigrated to that country. A second wave of immigration began in the 1970s and has continued ever since. The number of Israeli immigrants in the United States is not known with certainty, and the actual number of Israeli immigrants in the US is an issue that has been hotly debated.

Israeli immigration to the United States developed during the 1980s and 1990s due to a number of reasons, including the war between Israelis and Palestinians and high taxes and lack of housing available in their homeland. Also, the acquisition of aspects of American culture (especially fashion and entertainment) in Israel caused many Israelis to want to have the economic and educational opportunities of the United States. All this led to Israeli immigration in the U.S.


Since the declaration of the state of Israel and until today many Israelis emigrated to the United States. According to the 2000 census estimated that as many as 106,839 Israelis live in the United States nowadays,[9] while other estimates say the number is much higher, around 500,000.[3][4][5] A considerable numbers of Israelis, estimated broadly from 200,000 to three times that figure, have moved abroad in the recent decades.[10] Reasons for emigration vary, but generally relate to a combination of economic and political concerns.[citation needed]

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development calculated an 'expatriate rate' of 2.9 persons per thousand, putting Israel in the mid-range of expatriate rates among the 175 OECD countries examined in 2005.[11]

The New York City metropolitan area has now become by far the leading metropolitan gateway for Israeli immigrants legally admitted into the United States, with the Los Angeles metropolitan area now in a distant second place.[6] Within the United States, as of April 2013, Israeli airline El Al operated from John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport, both in the New York City metropolitan area, as well as from Los Angeles International Airport. The New York City metropolitan area is home to the largest Jewish community outside Israel, and the city proper contains the largest Jewish community in the world.[12] Several other major cities have large Jewish communities, including Miami,[13] Boston,[14] San Francisco,[15] and Cleveland.[16][17]

Culture and organizations[edit]

A number of Israeli American organizations exist for various purposes, including the Council of Israeli Community, Israeli Leadership Club, the Israeli American Study Initiative (of the UCLA), and the Israeli Business Network of Beverly Hills.

In addition, certain Israeli-American communities have their own newspapers which are printed in Hebrew, arrange their own cultural, entertainment and art events (including celebrations of the Israeli independence day which usually takes place in Israeli-American demographic centers) and some have the Israeli Network channel which consists of a selection of Live broadcasts as well as reruns of Israeli television news broadcasts, entertainment programs and Israeli sport events.

Relationship with American Jews[edit]

Israeli Americans are generally seen as having less interaction with the American Jews (non-Israeli) community and its institutions, often preferring to maintain ties of association with other Israeli Americans.[18] In return, Jewish Americans, especially religious Jewish Americans, tend to maintain little contact with the Israeli American community besides participation in religious ceremonies.[19] At one point, religious American Jews viewed "yordim" as being traitors to the Zionist cause of return and permanent settlement in Israel, but now consider them an important sub-group within the broader American Jewish community. 75% of Israeli Americans marry within the Jewish community, much high than American Jews.[20]

Notable Israeli Americans[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ It is estimated[by whom?] that 400,000–800,000 Israeli Jews have immigrated to the United States since the 1950s, though this number remains a contested figure, since many Israelis are originally from other countries and may list their origin countries when arriving in the United States. Also, there are many Israelis who live in the U.S. but do not have an American citizenship, therefore they aren't counted in this figure[citation needed]
  3. ^ a b PINI HERMAN (April 25, 2012). "Rumors of mass Israeli emigration are much exaggerated". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Gallya Lahav; Asher Arian (2005). 'Israelis in a Jewish diaspora: The multiple dilemmas of a globalized group' in International Migration and the Globalization of Domestic Politics ed. Rey Koslowski. London: Routledge. p. 89. ISBN 0-415-25815-4. 
  5. ^ a b "Israeli Americans - History, Modern era, Significant immigration waves, Settlement patterns". 1948-05-14. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  6. ^ a b "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2012 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2013-04-14. 
  7. ^ "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2011 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2013-04-14. 
  8. ^ "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2010 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2013-04-14. 
  9. ^ "American Community Survey Main - U.S. Census Bureau". Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  10. ^ Andrew I. Killgore."Facts on the Ground: A Jewish Exodus from Israel" Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 2004, pp.18-20
  11. ^ "Database on immigrants and expatriates:Emigration rates by country of birth (Total population)". Organisation for Economic Co-ordination and Development, Statistics Portal. Retrieved April 15, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Jewish Community Study of New York" (PDF). United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York. 2002. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  13. ^ "Instead of Israel, Jews choose Miami". 2004-12-07. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  14. ^ "Jewish Boston". 2009-12-31. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  15. ^ Site design and illustration by "Encyclopedia of San Francisco". Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Telushkin, Joseph (1991). Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History. New York: William Morrow & Co. p. 341. ISBN 0-688-08506-7. 
  19. ^ Eshman, Rob (2008-05-16). "Polished Diamonds". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. p. 8. Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  20. ^ Tugend, Tom. "Young U.S. Jews feel closer to Israel, studies find." Jewish Journal. 13 August 2013. 13 August 2013.