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Israeli Americans

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Israeli Americans

Israel Israeli Americans United States
ישראלים אמריקאיים
Miri Ben-Ari
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

Israeli Americans (Hebrew: ישראלים אמריקאיים‎) 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.[5][3][4] 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.

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] and San Francisco.[15]

Israeli Americans by state

The U.S states by Israeli Americans at the 2000 census:[16]

Population Rank
Israeli American
Percent Israeli American
 New York 1 30,164 0.2%
 California 2 24,956 0.1%
 Florida 3 9,511 0.1%
 New Jersey 4 7,939 0.1%
 Massachusetts 5 3,713 0.1%
 Illinois 6 3,557 0.0%
 Pennsylvania 7 3,051 0.0%
 Maryland 8 3,044 0.1%
 Texas 9 2,974 0.0%
 Michigan 10 1,737 0.0%
 Ohio 11 1,640 0.0%
 Connecticut 12 1,387 0.0%
 Georgia (U.S. state) 13 1,149 0.0%
 Washington 14 1,021 0.0%
 Arizona 15 984 0.0%
 Nevada 16 930 0.0%
 Virginia 17 898 0.0%
 Colorado 18 873 0.0%
 North Carolina 19 745 0.0%
 Missouri 20 612 0.0%
 Wisconsin 21 540 0.0%
 Oregon 22 454 0.0%
 South Carolina 23 454 0.0%
 Minnesota 24 432 0.0%
 Indiana 25 363 0.0%
 Tennessee 26 324 0.0%
 New Mexico 27 309 0.0%
 Oklahoma 28 240 0.0%
 Louisiana 29 230 0.0%
 District of Columbia - 229 0.0%
 Utah 30 226 0.0%
 Rhode Island 31 214 0.0%
 Hawaii 32 208 0.0%
 Kansas 33 197 0.0%
 Iowa 34 187 0.0%
 Alabama 35 181 0.0%
 New Hampshire 36 142 0.0%
 Kentucky 37 139 0.0%
 Delaware 38 138 0.0%
 Vermont 39 131 0.0%
 Arkansas 40 103 0.0%
 Mississippi 41 100 0.0%
 Idaho 42 87 0.0%
 Nebraska 43 85 0.0%
 Alaska 44 62 0.0%
 Puerto Rico - 55 0.0%
 Maine 45 45 0.0%
 North Dakota 46 36 0.0%
 West Virginia 47 36 0.0%
 Montana 48 33 0.0%
 South Dakota 49 22 0.0%
 Wyoming 50 7 0.0%

Culture and organizations

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 Jewish Americans

Israeli Americans are generally seen as having less interaction with the Jewish American (non-Israeli) community and its institutions, often preferring to maintain ties of association with other Israeli Americans.[17] In return, Jewish Americans, especially religious Jewish Americans, tend to maintain little contact with the Israeli American community besides participation in religious ceremonies.[18] At one point, religious American Jews viewed "yordim" as being the antithesis of the Jewish people's "eternal hope" 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 (as oppose to about 50% of non-Israeli Jewish Americans).[19]

Notable Israeli Americans

See also


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