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The Israeli-European Diaspora

February 2017

According to different studies, it is considered that about 500,000 Israelis are living permanently outside Israel. Whereas in past decades this immigration was considered by different actors, especially inside Israel, as problematic and difficult to explain, today this phenomenon seems to be less ideologically loaded. The so-called “Israeli Diaspora” is present in countries such as the US, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, etc. and has gained a considerable visibility among Jewish observers and others.

JDC-ICCD, in partnership with Machon Kehilot—itself a grass-roots organization established by Israelis living in Europe—, engaged in a research project in order to learn more about the European segment of this population.

The study has the following goals:

  1. Better understand perceptions and expectations of Israelis living abroad concerning their life in Europe and local Jewish life. Learn why secular Israelis living in Europe are generally not integrated into the established Jewish communities.
  2. Determine in which degree(s) Israelis living in Europe relate with their Jewish identity and with their Israeli one, and to what extent they wish to preserve the Jewish-Israeli elements in the complex identity of their children. Learn about and envision communal actions relevant to those identities, and assess the need for Hebrew-speaking communities that would provide Israelis living in Europe (and their families) with a sense of belonging, as well as with an opportunity to collectively nurture and impart to their children their secular-Jewish-Israeli identity and culture.
  3. Learn more about general socio-economic indicators and levels of integration into European culture and society
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