How Many Americans are Learning in Israel?
by Mordecai Plaut
In 5759 (the academic year 1998-99), a total of 109,956
talmidim, kein yirbu, learned in yeshivos,
kollelim and other institutions under the
supervision of the Ministry of Religions according to a
new report of the Central Bureau of Statistics. Of
these, 41 percent learned in kollelim, 27 percent
learned in yeshivos gevohos, and 16 percent
learned in other post-high school Torah institutions
including women's institutions and trade schools.
Between 5757 and 5759 this amount grew by 2.7 percent,
though it grew only 0.4 percent between 5758-59. There
was a 16 percent rise in those learning in yeshivos
gevohos, which probably accounted for most of the
Altogether, 18.4 percent (almost 20,000) are not
Israeli citizens, and most of these were in yeshiva
gevohos and kollelim. 58 percent of these are
US citizens (about 11,600). 50 percent of those
chutznikim in yeshivos gevohos are in
Yerushalayim, indicating that the entire community of
Americans learning in Yerushalayim is more than 10,000.
This number of course does not include wives of
kollel students, most of whom are not studying.
It also does not count those who originated in
communities in chutz la'aretz but immigrated
permanently and are now Israeli citizens, even if they
are still learning. It obviously does not include those
who are not learning.