Jew, Eastern Yiddish-Speaking in United States

Largest Religion
Main Language
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Eastern Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants to the United States came in the late 1800s from Central and Eastern Europe where they were facing waves of persecution. Yiddish is a German dialect with Hebrew elements. This was the lingua franca of those with a European heritage. Today the number of Americans who speak Yiddish at home is quickly dropping.

Because of the uniqueness of their history and culture, all Jewish people have a strong sense of identity. Persecution of and discrimination against them in places like Russia, Germany, and Poland have been the historical reasons for their migrations to the United States. It was common in Europe for them to not be allowed to own land, so instead of being farmers, they moved to cities where they thrived economically.

Where Are they Located?

In North America, most Jews live in urban areas on the east or west coasts. New York City has the largest Jewish population in North America, though there are sizeable populations of Yiddish-speaking people in New Jersey, Florida, and California. Many Yiddish speakers live in Maryland, Connecticut, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Arizona. Within these states, it would be safe to say that Yiddish speakers gravitate to the larger cities.

What Are Their Lives Like?

While maintaining a Jewish identity, the majority of North American Jews conform to the mainstream American culture. They are successful in urban professions like running businesses, accounting, etc.

Socially, Yiddish speaking Jewish people tend to stick with others of their ethnic and religious groups. Many of them are part of one of the many Hassidic Jewish communities, which have little contact with one another.

It is very hard for followers of Christ to reach them even though Yiddish speakers are usually as fluent in English as any other American.

What Are Their Beliefs?

"Jewishness" is often defined in more secular terms such as the use of Yiddish words and family traditions, rather than in religious aspects, such as the following of Jewish laws regarding dietary restrictions. Their spirituality is tightly wrapped up in their ethnicity rather than in the God of the Universe. Hebrew is the religious language of prayer for Hassidic Jews, many of whom have a Yiddish-language background.

What Are Their Needs?

There are many resources that point the way to Jesus Christ. It is very difficult for Yiddish speaking Jews, whose ancestors were persecuted by "Christians," to give a fair hearing to the claims of Christ. Someone needs to go them as Christ's ambassador.

Prayer Points

* Pray that Jewish people in the United States will embrace Jesus as their Messiah.
* Pray for a massive spiritual breakthrough among the Yiddish-speaking Jewish communities in the United States. Pray that they will crave true spirituality that only comes from the Savior.


Profile Source:   Global Prayer Digest 

Prayer Links:
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-04-29
People Name General Jew, Eastern Yiddish-Speaking
People Name in Country Jew, Eastern Yiddish-Speaking
Population in United States 194,000
World Population 621,700
Total Countries 12
Indigenous No
Least-Reached Yes
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 1  (per
Alternate Names Jew, Yiddish-Speaking, Jewish, Yiddish Jewish
People ID 12350
ROP3 Code 104247

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Ethnologue Language Map

Primary Language: Yiddish, Eastern (194,000 speakers)   People group listing
Language Code: ydd   Ethnologue Listing
Written: Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages: 1
Primary Language: Yiddish, Eastern (194,000 speakers)   People group listing
Language Code: ydd   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Primary Language: Yiddish, Eastern

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1544-1939)
New Testament Yes   (1678-1936)
Complete Bible Yes   (1821-1936)
Possible Print Bibles
Forum of Bible Agencies
Gospel Go
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture / Portions
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Yiddish, Eastern
General Got Questions Ministry
Text / Printed Matter Bible-in-Your-Language
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.10 %)
0.50 %
Ethnic Religions
84.50 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
15.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
50.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
25.0 %
Roman Catholic
25.0 %
Photo Source: Create International   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest 
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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