The state of Israel was established only in 1948, and much of its own population growth has come about through Jewish emigration from the United States and Europe. This makes analyses of migration from Israel to the United States uniquely complex. Many ostensible immigrants to the United States from Israel have been Jews who originated in the United States, emigrated to Israel, and later returned to North America. Some of these same returnees have even returned to Israel again. The subject is also complicated by the fact that immigrants to the United States from Israel have included Muslim and Christian Palestinians, who may or may not have been Israeli citizens. Moreover, some Palestinian immigrants who were legally Israeli citizens may not have identified with the Jewish state.
The number of immigrants to the United States whose last country of residence was Israel has grown steadily over the decades. From 1950 to 1959, 21,376 legal migrants from Israel were admitted into the United States. During the 1960’s, that figure increased to 30,911 and in the 1980’s to 43,669. After a slight dip to 41,340 during the 1990’s, a total of 47,873 new immigrants arrived from Israel between 2000 and 2008. Estimates from U.S. Census data indicate that numbers of people born in Israel, or Palestine, in the United States grew from 94,500 in 1990 to 123,000 in 2000 and reached 154,000 in 2007.
According to the sociologist
Jewish Israelis live throughout the United States, but they are most heavily concentrated in
Gold, Steven J. The Israeli Diaspora. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002. Gold, Steven J., and Bruce A. Phillips. “Israelis in the U.S.” In American Jewish Yearbook, 1996. New York: American Jewish Committee, 1996. O’Brien, Lee. American Jewish Organizations and Israel. Washington, D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1986. Sobel, Zvi. Migrants from the Promised Land. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, 1986. Telushkin, Rabbi Joseph. The Golden Land: The Story of Jewish Immigration to America. New York: Harmony Books, 2002. Worth, Richard. Jewish Immigrants. New York: Facts On File, 2005.
Afroyim v. Rusk
American Jewish Committee
New York City