Russian Jew in United States

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Jews began emigrating to the United States from Russia and Poland as early as America's colonial era. In 1852, a "Russian-American Jewish congregation" was founded in New York, a sign that the community of Eastern European Jews was by then large enough to seek to preserve its own distinctive traditions. Later, as railway lines eased travel within Russia and steamships reduced the hazards of travel across the Atlantic, more Russian Jews migrated to America, particularly in the wake of economic privation and religious persecution where they lived. Mass Russian-Jewish immigration is usually dated to the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881 which was falsely blamed on the Jewish people. Hundreds of thousands of Russian Jewish people immigrated between 1881 and World War I. Between 1930 and 1939, according to official statistics, a total of only 2,463 Russians, most of them presumably Jews, obtained legal permanent residence status in the United States. Following WWII only a small number of Russian Jews arrived in the United States. For the most part, Russia's Jews were barred from migrating to the United States until the early 1970s.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Since that decade there has been a flood of Russian Jews coming to the United States. The majority of them settled in New York City, and they tended to be secularized. These Russian speaking Jewish immigrants are diverse. They included scholars, scientists, artists, professionals, ordinary workers, and many were "refuseniks" with long histories of opposition to the Soviet regime. Most of these immigrants were older than the average immigrant. Unlike some other immigrant groups coming to America, these Russian Jewish people did not look back. They had come to be free and were ready to create a new life for themselves and their families. They learned English, worked hard and stressed education for their children. It is also interesting that many of these Russian Jews rediscovered a sense of Russian-ness. They maintained many Russian cultural traditions. The younger generation of Russian Jews in the US do not speak Russian like their parents and grandparents. However, one thing remains evident, Russian-speaking Jews are strengthening American Jewish life. Almost all are active in their community. They strongly support Israel and maintain ongoing fund-raising projects for new immigrants arriving in Israel from Russia. They have gained recognition in all areas of life in the United States that include medicine, research, filming, education, business, and the arts. They are very successful in their earning power largely because of their ability to achieve a higher education. Family is important, and they strive to have their children get a good education. The Russian Jews are a distinct and increasingly powerful community in the United States. With the passing of time these Jewish people become more active in the American culture and politics.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Although a number of Russian Jewish Americans attend a synagogue, the majority are secular. Christians, especially the Messianic Jewish believers, have been able to reach a small number of them. A proud people, most Jewish Russian people do not want to change, and they reject outreaches by outsiders.

What Are Their Needs?

Highly motivated to succeed they push themselves to achieve their goals. Most of them do not see any need to repent or turn their lives over to God and receive his grace. They need to know God and they need to know the saving grace of Jesus.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Jew, Russian in United States.

Pray that the Russian Jewish People in the United States will be open to friendships with American Christian believers and be open to discuss the prophetic scriptures of who Jesus is and why he is their Messiah.
Pray that American Christians and Messianic Christians will not become discouraged in their efforts to reach the Russian Jewish people. Pray that Russian Jewish people will fully understand that Christians who give their lives over to Jesus are against all forms of anti-Semitism. Pray for Russian Jews in America to begin their own movement to Christ.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-05-09
Global Prayer Digest: 2016-05-30
People Name General Jew, Russian-speaking
People Name in Country Jew, Russian
Natural Name Russian Jew
Population this Country 654,000
Population all Countries 1,600,000
Total Countries 5
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 2  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 13
Alternate Names Russian; Russian Jew
People ID 14600
ROP3 Code 108454
Country United States
Region America, North and Caribbean
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country United States
Region America, North and Caribbean
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Primary Language Russian (654,000 speakers)
Language Code rus   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Russian (654,000 speakers)
Language Code rus   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Russian

Primary Language:  Russian

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1815-1993)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1821-1991)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1680-2016)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Central Asian (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Holy Synod (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Father's Love Letter
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Russian
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
General Four Spiritual Laws
General General Ministry Resources
General Got Questions Ministry
General Open-licensed Bible stories on mobile app
General Walk with the Prophets and meet the Messiah
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.10 %)
0.50 %
Ethnic Religions
89.50 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
10.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
50.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
30.0 %
Roman Catholic
20.0 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2021  Dimaris - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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