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Since at least the time of the Ancient Greeks, a proportion of Jews have assimilated into the wider non-Jewish society around them, by either choice or force, ceasing to practice Judaism and losing their Jewish identity.The advent of the Jewish Enlightenment of the 1700s (see Haskalah) and the subsequent emancipation of the Jewish populations of Europe and America in the 1800s, accelerated the situation, encouraging Jews to increasingly participate in, and become part of, secular society.Over two million Jews would flee the pogroms of the Russian Empire to the safety of the US from 1881–1924.Currently, the largest Jewish community in the world is located in the United States, with 5.3 million or 6.5 million Jews by various estimates.According to the Jewish Agency for Israel, as of 2007 there were 13.2 million Jews worldwide, 5.4 million of whom lived in Israel, 5.3 million in the United States, and the remainder distributed in communities of varying sizes around the world; this represents 0.2% of the current estimated world population.The total world Jewish population, however, is difficult to measure.In a sentence such as There are now several Jews on the council, which is unobjectionable, the substitution of a circumlocution like Jewish people or persons of Jewish background may in itself cause offense for seeming to imply that Jew has a negative connotation when used as a noun.
In this Rosh Hashana greeting card from the early 1900s, Russian Jews, packs in hand, gaze at the American relatives beckoning them to the United States.
The term “Sephardic” itself often tends to obscure this diversity.
At its root, the word refers to Jews who can trace their origins back to the Iberian Peninsula, but it is often used as a catchall label for any Jew who is simply not Ashkenazic.
Although even many non-Ashkenazic Jews themselves may employ the label, …
, Yehudim), also known as the Jewish people, are an ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East.