Israeli New Yorkers poorer than US Jews

A new survey by the UJA Federation of New York found that more Israeli New Yorkers are orthodox than native New York Jews.

127,000 Israelis live in 41,000 households in New York City, Long Island and Westchester. On average, they are poorer, less educated, and more Orthodox than native Jews in the city, according to the "Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011" by the UJA Federation of New York.

The study defines an Israel household as one where either the respondent or spouse was born in Israel, or one in which the respondent has lived in Israel, but was not born in the US, so as to exclude American Jews who had spent several months or more Israel and then returned to the US.

Israeli-headed households account for 6% of Jewish households in greater New York. 121,000 of the 127,000 people in these households are Jews, 8% of greater New York's Jews.

Israeli New Yorkers are significantly less educated than their Jewish peers. 39% of Israeli New Yorkers have only a high school education or less, compared with 23% of New York Jews; 11% of Israeli New Yorkers have some college, compared with 23% of New York Jews; and 50% of Israeli New Yorkers have at least a BA, compared with 55% of New York Jews.

Israeli New Yorkers are also poorer than their Jewish peers. The report states that although their employment patterns and income distributions resemble those of non-Israelis, they do have a higher proportion of poor households than other New York-area Jews (24% versus 18%). Poor and near-poor Israeli New York households account for 39% of the total, compared with 28% poor and near-poor Jewish New York households.

The report states that Israeli-Americans' reputation as being distant from Jewish life is undeserved. Israeli New Yorkers are twice as likely to be Orthodox than native Jews (38% versus 18%), and half as likely to be Reform (12% versus 24%), partly reflecting the small appeal of Reform Judaism to Israelis. 9% of Israeli New Yorkers have intermarried, compared with 23% of non-Israelis. 65% of Israeli New Yorkers belong to a synagogue, compared with 43% of New York Jews. 72% of Israeli New Yorker children are enrolled in daycare, compared with 45% of children of New York Jews.

Israeli New Yorkers are more insular than New York Jews. 74% of Israeli New Yorkers say that they have mostly Jewish friends, compared with 51% of New York Jews.

The report states that 1.54 million Jews live in 694,000 households the eight counties of New York City, Long Island and Westchester, of whom 1.09 million live in New York City itself. The figure rises to 1.71 million people of families with a non-Jewish spouse are included. Israeli New Yorkers are more concentrated in Brooklyn than New York Jews (45% versus 28%), especially in Borough Park and Flatbush. The greater New York Jewish population is the highest in the US and the second highest in the world, after Israel. The New York Jewish population rose in the 2000s, after falling in 1990s.

The survey says that an additional 20,000-30,000 Israelis live in the New Jersey suburbs of New York, which brings the number of Israelis living in metropolitan New York as a whole to around 150,000.

250,000 Israeli-Americans live in metropolitan Los Angeles, according to Representative Howard Berman (Democrat-California) who represents a district in the area.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 14, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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