The Jewish Diaspora

The Jewish diaspora is the world’s oldest. Jews began leaving Israel nearly 3000 years ago with the invasion of Judea by the Assyrian Empire .

The destruction of the Jerusalem

Temple in 70AD  caused the dispersal of many Jews to other parts of the Middle East and North Africa including Alexandria in Egypt and Algeria .

Jewish communities then established themselves in the Iberian  peninsula and in Europe during the Middle   Ages.

The Spanish Inquisition led to another dispersal in the 15th and 16th centuries with many  Jews leaving for Morocco, Venice, Istanbul and the newly independent Nerherlands.

Jews were prevented from living in England for more than 500 years until The Restoration under Charles  the 2nd in 1660 when communities of Jews arrived .

By now, Eastern Europe was where a majority of Jews now lived. Persecuted for centuries, by 1900 three quarters of the global.

Jewish population of 10 million lived here, most in Russia . But pogroms in the years surrounding the Russian Revolution led to a massive wave of emigration to western Europe and to the United States and Britain . This was  matched  only by the massive displacement caused by the Holocaust.

Immigration  to the the United States after World  War 2 coincided with a massive economic boom. Jews who had moved in family groups and were quick to learn English  prospered in the garment trade in particular becoming one of the most successful of America’s many diasporas.

The creation of Israel has created a religious and cultural friction amongst  the Jewish diaspora with the Israeli State fostering a more religious and Orthodox faith whilst the diaspora particularly in the United States remains more reform minded .