The global Jewish population is approaching levels not seen since 1925, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) said on Sunday.
The CBS said in a report released ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day that in 2018 the world’s Jewish population stood at 14.7 million, a little less than the 14.8 million in 1925.
This current global Jewish population is still fewer than the 16.6 million Jews alive in 1939, at the outbreak of the Second World War.
Israel’s CBS released the figures ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day, which begins on Monday evening and will be marked on April 21.
While raw population figures may be approaching parity, the geographic centre of the global Jewish population has shifted away from Europe, which was home to sixty per cent of Jews in the 1930s.
Israel’s 6.7 million Jews accounted for 45 per cent of the world Jewish population, while the United States’ 5.7 million made the American community the world’s second largest.
The CBS said that it included in its figures “people who define themselves as Jews, or people who are born to Jewish parents and who do not have a religious or ethnic identity”.
France and Canada are home to the world’s third and fourth largest Jewish communities, while Britain, home to around 292,000 Jews, is the fifth largest.
Argentina, Russia, Germany and Australia completed the list.
While many of the world's largest Jewish cities from the 1920s remain so today, especially in the United States, many others, especially in Eastern Europe and the Arab world, such as Warsaw, Lodz and Baghdad have fallen away.