Facts About Jewish Diaspora in the US

Jewish Diaspora in the US Basic Facts

  • Population in the US: 7.5 million, about 8% are Black, Indigenous and People of Color
  • Members of Congress: 38, 10 in the Senate and 28 in the House
  • Established in 1892, the American Jewish Historical Archive is the oldest ethnic, cultural archive in the U.S.
  • Jewish Americans played critical roles in the founding and funding of some of the most important civil rights organizations, such as the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
  • Half of the youth who participated in the Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964 were Jewish
  • There are more than a dozen historic properties listed in the Historic Register and National Park units commemorating the events and people that help illustrate Jewish Americans’ contributions to American history. Read about them here

History of Jewish Diaspora in the U.S.

Jewish people have existed in what has become the United States since as early as the mid-1600s. As political and economic hardships flared in Eastern Europe during the late 1800s, Jews began to emigrate to the U.S. in large numbers. At the beginning of the 20th century, the United States became home to the third largest population of Jews in the world, with approximately 500,000 (half of the Jewish population in the U.S. at the time) living in New York City. Immigration continued at increasing rates until World War I and the Immigration Act of 1924 ended mass migration of Jews to the U.S.

Jewish experiences in the U.S.

The Jewish Diaspora in the U.S. is diverse, complex and varied. Here are a few resources that touch on the breadth of experiences, including antisemitism.

Take a tour of the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience.

Listen to the experiences of Asian American Jews and how they integrate and celebrate their intersectional identities.

Check out this podcast episode about the connections between Latin and Jewish foods.

Read this list of resources for discussing and addressing antisemitism with kids.

Featured Important American Jewish Persons: Albert Einstein, Ruth Bader Ginsburg

YouTube video
YouTube video