Mizrahi Jews

Mizrahi Jews or Mizrahim (Hebrew: מזרחים‎), also referred to as Adot HaMizrach (עֲדוֹת-הַמִּזְרָח) (Communities of the East; Mizrahi Hebrew: ʿAdot(h) Ha(m)Mizraḥ), are Jews descended from the Jewish communities of the Babylonian era in the Middle East and the Caucasus (the East as defined during the Middle Ages). The term Mizrahi is used in Israel in the language of politics, media and some social scientists for Jews from mostly Arab-ruled geographies and adjacent, primarily Muslim-majority countries. This includes descendants of Babylonian Jews from modern Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Iran, India, Uzbekistan, Kurdish areas and Jews from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yemenite and Georgian Jews are usually included within the Mizrahi Jews group. Today, some also expand the defition of Mizrahim to Maghrebi and Sephardic, though the latter have a different historical background. Hence, Sephardi and Maghrebi Jews with roots from Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Northern and Eastern Sudan, Tunisia, Libya or Turkey are erroneously grouped into the Mizrahi category for various reasons.

Despite their heterogeneous dispersion, Mizrahi Jews generally practice rites identical or similar to traditional Sephardic Judaism, although with some differences among the minhagim of the particular communities. This has resulted in a conflation of terms, particularly in Israel, and in religious usage, where "Sephardi" is used in a broad sense to include Mizrahi Jews and Maghrebi Jews as well as Sephardim proper. Indeed, from the point of view of the official Israeli rabbinate, any rabbis of Mizrahi origin in Israel are under the jurisdiction of the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel. Today Sephardic rite make up more than half of Israel's Jewish population, and Mizrahi Jews proper are a major part of them. Before the mass immigration of 1,000,000 from the former Soviet Union, mostly of Ashkenazi rite, followers of the Sephardic rite made up over 70% of Israel's Jewish population.

Read more about Mizrahi Jews:  Usage, Religious Rite Designations, Language, Post-1948 Dispersal

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