Israel: Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia for the country of the world Israel, the Hebrew language, immigrants and immigration, getting citizenship.



Israel is the only nation where children teach the mother tongue to their mothers. The national language of Hebrew had not been widely used for almost 2,000 years when independence was declared in 1948 and most of the adults spoke Yiddish, a mishmash language made up of words from various other languages including Russian, German, Polish, and Hebrew. So children learned Hebrew in school and taught their parents.

By 1960, over one million immigrants had arrived in Israel since statehood was declared. Of that number 431,000 came from Europe (beginning with 100,000 refugees from German concentration camps), and about 500,000 came from Asia and North Africa. Thirteen thousand Jews came from North and South America. Every Jew admitted to Israel becomes a citizen with the right to vote upon entry. Non-Jews, once admitted, must wait 3 years for citizenship.

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