WHo are the Jews?

Jewish Religion

Judaism is a religion, but Jews have many different types of religious practices. Not all Jews are religious and, among those who define themselves as religious have different interpretations of Jewish law may guide their religious practice. Globally, only a minority of Jews stringently observe an orthodox interpretation of Jewish law. As with any religion, some people convert to Judaism.  

Jewish prayer is conducted in Hebrew, and Jewish school children typically learn the language as part of their formal Jewish education. 

Jewish Ethnicity and Peoplehood

Jews are an ethnic and national group who are bound by religious practice and by an identity as a distinct group with its own history, traditions, and narrative. Jews have been extremely effective in sustaining a sense of mutual responsibility toward their people and its members for more than 2,000 years. The concept of a distinctive Jewish people precedes the development of Jewish religious doctrine. Throughout the Torah, or Hebrew Bible, Jews are variously referred to as a congregation, a nation, children of Israel, or even a kingdom, all implying a connection among Jews.  

While many Jews may be non-practicing, they are still likely to feel part of the Jewish people.   

Today you find Jews in almost all regions of the world including Africa, the Middle East, India, Asia, and in South America, North America and Europe. Over half of the world’s Jews live in Israel.