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Ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel home to 165,000 Holocaust survivors

Survivors’ average age is 85, according to the Foundation for the Welfare of Holocaust Victims; about 7,500 survivors live alone and in poor conditions

Relatives and friends of Holocaust survivors place flowers on names of concentration camps seen on the floor of the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, on Holocaust Remembrance Day April 8, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Relatives and friends of Holocaust survivors place flowers on names of concentration camps seen on the floor of the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, on Holocaust Remembrance Day April 8, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) said Monday that ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins Wednesday evening, there are about 165,000 people living in Israel who are recognized by the state as Holocaust survivors.

The average age of survivors is 85, according to Ety Farhi, CEO of the Foundation for the Welfare of Holocaust Victims, cited by the Ynet news site.

According to official data, there are about 7,500 survivors who are known to live alone and in poor conditions, but the numbers may be higher.

Anat Shuster, head of social services for the foundation, told Ynet that “10 percent of survivors say they have no family and are on their own.”

The CBS press release said that according to its last count, taken toward the end of 2020, there were 15.2 million Jews around the globe, of which 6.9 million live in Israel.

Among Israeli Jews, who account for 45% of the global Jewish population, the CBS said 5.4 million were born in the country, while 1.5 million were born overseas.

Several dozen impoverished elderly Israelis, many of them Holocaust survivors, gather for distribution of food aid and cold weather supplies by the Chasdei Naomi charity in Jerusalem, January 26, 2022 (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

The report noted that the numbers registered are similar to those registered in 1939, before World World II, when the global Jewish population stood at 16.6 million. At the time, about 449,000 (3%) lived in Israel, the report said.

A decade later, in 1948, just before the establishment of the Jewish state, the global Jewish population was at 11.5 million, 650,000 (6%) of whom lived in Israel.

The country with the next largest Jewish population is the United States, which the CBS said has 6 million Jews, followed by France with 445,000, Canada with 393,000, the United Kingdom with 292,000, Argentina with 175,000, Russia with 150,000, and Germany and Australia, both with 118,000.

Two women walk with children during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in the Borough Park neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York, October 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

Israel’s total population according to the CBS stands at around 9.3 million, with an annual growth rate of about 1.7%.

The Jewish population accounts for 74% of the population, while the 1.956 million Arabs in Israel make up 21% of the population. Another 456,000 people defined as “others” make the remaining 5%.

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