Document Type



Israel is one of the most unique sociological experiments of immigration and assimilation in the modern world. Since its formation in 1948, Israel has depended on immigration of the Jewish Diaspora for nearly its entire population and continues to grant automatic citizenship to Jews hailing from all countries of the globe. The country has an official policy of assimilation and does not recognize ethnic differences among Jews. Such a situation has made Israel one of the most culturally pro-immigrant countries in the entire world. However, recent influxes of culturally diverse Jewish populations from the former USSR have emigrated to Israel and failed to assimilate to previously accepted cultural norms, thus threatening to challenge Israel’s long held policy of assimilation. This paper seeks to analyze the history of Jewish immigration and assimilation. It also seeks to evaluate the cultural and economic factors that affect perceptions of immigrants by comparing attitudes towards recent immigration from the USSR among various segments of Israeli society, including the Ashkenazi Jews, Mizrahim Jews, and Arab Israelis.