Ashkenazi Jews facts for kids

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Ashkenazi Jews
(יהודי אשכנז Y'hudey Ashkenaz in Ashkenazi Hebrew)
Total population
10–11.2 million
Regions with significant populations
 United States 5–6 million
 Israel 2.8 million
 Russia 194,000–500,000
 Argentina 300,000
 United Kingdom 260,000
 Canada 240,000
 France 200,000
 Germany 200,000
 Ukraine 150,000
 Australia 120,000
 South Africa 80,000
 Belarus 80,000
 Hungary 75,000
 Chile 70,000
 Belgium 30,000
 Brazil 80,000
 Netherlands 30,000
 Moldova 30,000
 Poland 25,000
 Mexico 18,500
 Sweden 18,000
 Latvia 10,000
 Romania 10,000
 Austria 9,000
 New Zealand 5,000
 Azerbaijan 4,300
 Lithuania 4,000
 Czech Republic 3,000
 Slovakia 3,000
 Estonia 1,000
Languages
Yiddish
Modern: Local languages, primarily English, Hebrew, Russian
Religion
Judaism, some secular, irreligious
Related ethnic groups
Sephardi Jews, Mizrahi Jews, Samaritans, Kurds, other Levantines (Druze, Assyrians, Arabs), Mediterranean groups (Italians, Spaniards)

Ashkenazi Jews / Ashkenazic Jews / Ashkenazim are Jews who originally lived in northern and eastern Europe. They once lived in the area of Rhineland and France and after the crusades they moved to Poland, Lithuania and Russia. In the 17th century, avoiding persecution, many Jews moved to and settled in Western Europe.

Scientists believe that Ashkenazi Jews originally came from the Land of Israel and initially went to Italy, France, and Germany. Later, during pogroms in the middle ages, mainly in Germany, they fled to Poland and Lithuania, and from there they spread over the rest of Eastern Europe. They then adopted the Yiddish language.

After that, two terms, Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews, became commonly used: The former indicates the Jews who worshiped in the German way and spoke Yiddish, the latter indicates the Jews who worshiped in the Spanish way and spoke the Ladino language. They differ in language (pronunciation), cultural tradition and worship style.

During World War II, about 6 million Jews, 5 million of whom were Ashkenazi, were killed in the Holocaust. The Holocaust destroyed or greatly reduced the large Jewish communities and the Yiddish language in Europe. Many of the surviving Ashkenazi Jews emigrated to countries such as Israel, Canada, Argentina, Australia, and the United States after the war.

As of 2018, Ashkenazim are around 75% of the 14.6 million Jews of the world. They are also the mainstream of Israeli politics. Famous Ashkenazim are Albert Einstein, George Gershwin, Gustav Mahler, Franz Kafka.

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