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As a result, Sephardic Jews spread out to Mediterranean countries, while the majority of Ashkenazic Jews moved east to Poland, which became the center of European Jewry.
In Poland, Jews were permitted to create a series of councils and courts that together represented a minority self-government within the country.
For many Jews, the binding force is Judaism, a term usually referring to the Jewish religion but sometimes used to refer to all Jews.
There are, however, Jewish atheists and agnostics, and one does not have to be religious to be Jewish.
Located in the Middle East with a land mass of 7,992 square miles, Israel is only slighter larger than New Jersey.
It is bounded by Lebanon in the north, by Syria and Jordan in the east, by Egypt in the southwest, and by the Mediterranean Sea in the west.
The people of Israel, however, lost much of their Hebrew identity after the Assyrians invaded the northern kingdom in 721 , these Jews remained faithful to their traditions and to the Ten Commandments.Although Jews comprise less than three percent of the American population, Jews have generally had a disproportionately larger representation in American government, business, academia, and entertainment.American Jews have suffered their share of setbacks and have had to combat anti-Semitism during the early twentieth century.Jews represent a group of people rather than a distinct race or ethnicity.Although Jews originally came from the Middle East, many races and peoples have mixed together in Jewish communities over the centuries, especially after the Jews were forced out of Palestine in the second century What binds the group together is a common Jewish heritage as passed down from generation to generation.
Subsequently, Hebrews referred to themselves as "God's chosen people." After Abraham, the Hebrews were led by Abraham's son Isaac, then by Isaac's son Jacob.