Israeli Jewry

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Israel was established as a state on May 14, 1948. It was initially attacked by the nearby nations of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, forcing it to defend itself and to find the strength to maintain its independence. Although Israel would continue to face challenges with its neighbors and tension between Israelis and Palestinians, especially during the wars of 1967 and 1973, it was able to build up its economy beginning in the 1950’s. With the assistance of German and American banks, housing settlements were established, the agricultural sector was developed, and the overall infrastructure was developed. Large portions of barren land were farmed and many trees were planted. Israel was also able to establish an educational system in its early years. Schools were free for children between the ages of 5 and 14, which then went up to the age of 16 in 1978. As Jews arrived in Israel from all parts of the world, unique communities were established. By the end of 1951, 687,000 people had arrived in Israel, greatly enlarging the Jewish population.

Israel in the 1960’s was viewed as a prosperous state. In cities such as Tel Aviv and Haifa, skyscrapers were built as a national highway was completed and the textile and clothing industry flourished, providing many new jobs. During this period unemployment was under 4% and housing prices went down. Yet certain things remained expensive, especially cars. During this time period, Israel also began developing itself as a leader in science and technology with its electronics and communications, partnering with global leaders such as Intel and Motorola. This industry has brought in trillions of dollars to the economy since its inception.

Israeli Army Factory

Although Israel was generally successful during the1960’s, a deep recession temporarily damaged the economy, known as “mitun” (recession). During this recession, 100,000 workers were fired from their jobs and unemployment jumped to 11.5%. People were angry and frustrated. Although their wasn’t a major increase in emigration and the situation improved, these conditions made life in the U.S. seem more appealing to certain families as there seemed to be more opportunities there. Currently, the situation is Israel is not as good as it once was although Israel is still a major participant in the global economy and has many foreign investments. Jobs in business and technology remain important, and Israeli universities are recognized for their excellence in education. In spite of Israel’s many challenges, it has faired well over the years and Israelis have a relatively high standard of living.

Israeli owned restaurant in Brooklyn

Israeli citizens immigrating to America initially faced many challenges. The education system was different and most had to find new jobs. Many were unfamiliar with the language so that it took time to learn the language. Immigrants that come to America today are more familiar with the English language and it is easier for them to obtain jobs. Most also have family and friends living here to help them as well. Many immigrants from Israel have established businesses in Brooklyn and Manhattan, such as grocery stores and kosher restaurants. Additionally, many have become doctors, lawyers, and real estate developers. Many of these immigrants have been successful in their endeavors.