Did you know, there are over a thousand Chabad Houses in the United States (Lubavitch.com, 2012)? Of these centers, about 2%* are known as “Chabad Israeli centers”. At first, this figure may seem rather small, but in fact, it is actually proportionate to the number of Israeli Jews in America.
According to the U.S. 2000 census there are just over 100,000 people “of Israeli ancestry” living in the United States (Census.gov, 2000), and the estimate of total Jewish population in the U.S. is around six million (Census.gov, 2009); the Israelis are then about 2% of American Jews.
A quick note on the Israeli-Americans, for years, a substantial number Israelis have emigrated from Israel to the United States. In the past, Israeli leaders were quick to denounce such emigration, forcibly and publicly. Today, the State of Israel has softened its stance on Israeli emigrants and has attempted to encourage their citizens in US to ‘return home’.
Whatever may be said of Jewish life in America, the “Chabad Israeli center” demonstrates a curious development in Israeli-Diaspora relations, where American Chassidic Jews have formed one of the most popular Jewish institutions strengthening the identities of Israelis living in the United States.
This does not mean that all Israelis in the US are affiliated with Chabad, or that the Chabad Israeli centers have the capacity to serve all Israelis. Rather, Chabad, proportionate to its size and organizational strength, has set aside a significant amount of its resources to include Israelis in the participation of Jewish life in America.
See more on Israelis in the United States at Wikipedia.org.
*This number is estimated based on search engine query. As Chabad centers typically have websites, we can presume the Israeli centers can be located online via a web search.
Census.gov. “Ancestry: 2000” United States Census Bureau. 2000. Retrieved May 30, 2012, from http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_00_110S_QTP13&prodType=table.
Census.gov. “Statistical Abstract of the United States”. United States Census Bureau. (2009): 62. Retrieved May 30, 2012, from http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0077.pdf.
Lubavitch.com. “North America – Centers”. Lubavitch.com. 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012, from http://lubavitch.com/centers/region.html?id=1.