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This detailed and thorough report is rapidly becoming the ‘must-read’ study on European Jews, taking the reader on an extraordinary journey through one thousand years of European Jewish history before arriving at the most comprehensive analysis of European Jewish demography today.
Written by leading Jewish demographers Professor Sergio DellaPergola and Dr Daniel Staetsky, the Chair and Director of JPR’s European Jewish Demography Unit respectively, it explores how the European Jewish population has ebbed and flowed over time. It begins as far back as the twelfth century, travelling through many years of population stability, until the tremendous growth of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, followed by the dramatic decline prompted by a combination of mass migration and the horrors of the Shoah. Extraordinarily, after all this time, the proportion of world Jewry living in Europe today is almost identical to the proportion living in Europe 900 years ago.
Using multiple definitions of Jewishness and a vast array of sources to determine the size of the contemporary population, the study proceeds to measure it in multiple ways, looking at the major blocs of the European Union and the European countries of the Former Soviet Union, as well as providing country-by-country analyses, ranging from major centres such as France, the UK, Germany and Hungary, to tiny territories such as Gibraltar, Monaco and even the Holy See.
The report also contains the most up-to-date analysis we have on the key mechanisms of demographic change in Europe, touching variously on patterns of migration in and out of Europe, fertility, intermarriage, conversion and age compositions. While the report itself is a fascinating and important read, the underlying data are essential tools for the JPR team to utilise as it supports Jewish organisations across the continent to plan for the future.
Listen to the report’s author, Daniel Staetsky, and JPR’s Executive Director, Jonathan Boyd, discussing the report's findings, as well their capacity to inform policy and safeguard Jewish life in Europe, in conversation with Alina Bricman, Director of EU Affairs at B’nai B’rith International here.