Israeli Jews belong by and large to the Ashkenazi (German, Central and Eastern European) division of world Jews, although there are minority representations from the Sephardic (Spanish) and Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) divisions. They number over 6 million inhabitants and comprise 75% of the population of the Middle Eastern state of Israel, founded in 1949. The overwhelming majority are non-Haredi or not strictly Orthodox by religion. Ethnically and genetically, they derive from European populations that were largely eliminated during the Holocaust and are thus no longer present in significant numbers in present-day European nations. European Jewry after World War II was transplanted and has been divided almost equally between Israel and the United States. See Demographics of Israel.
The Israeli Jews population data represent DNA samples from 163 unrelated mixed Jewish Caucasians of both sexes obtained by the Department of Human Genetics, Tel-Aviv University, Israel in 2004. A European Standard Set (ESS) of DNA loci was used, compiling allele distributions for 10 short tandem repeat (STR) polymorphic markers as used in forensic and paternity testing with the commercial AmpFISTR SGM Plus kit developed by Applied Biosystems.
The Jews sampled in this study had ancestry primarily in these countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
Source publication: Korostishevsky M., Loewenthal R., Slomov Y., Gazit E. (2004). “Erroneous identification in a mixed population: simulation using Israeli STR data.” International Journal of Legal Medicine 118:111-14.
Did You Know: Israel is the only country in the world that revived an unspoken language as its national tongue.
Israel has the highest number of museums per head in the world.