Given the recent attack on Ukraine and its possible effect on the migration of Ukrainian – and Russian – Jews, Dr Jonathan Boyd, Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, has gathered some data on the numbers Jews in both countries.
A few key findings:
- The size of the ‘core’ Jewish population is 45,000 for Ukraine and 155,000 for Russia. Other forms of estimation can produce numbers as high as 140,000 for Ukraine (460,000 for Russia).
- Even larger counts can be estimated if one uses the legislation determining who is entitled to Israeli citizenship, which may be particularly pertinent during conflict times as it extends to immediate family members of anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent. Using this as the inclusion criterion generates counts of 200,000 in Ukraine (and 600,000 in Russia).
- The largest Jewish population centres in Ukraine today are Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Odesa and Donetsk
- The Ukrainian Jewish population has declined by 91% since the fall of the Berlin wall. Recent data demonstrate that about 70% of Jews in Ukraine today are aged 45 or above, and only about 5% are children aged 0-14.
- There was a notable spike in Jewish migration in Ukraine following the ‘Maidan’ Revolution in 2014, which saw about 100 Ukrainian civilians killed in the unrest. Indeed, given the current conflict, it is likely that the Jewish emigration rates will increase.